Gerard Summers


Gerard graduated with a BSc in Geology from University College Cork in 2015. He has since completed an MSc in Applied Coastal and Marine Management from UCC in 2017. Thereafter, he joined the Marine Geology Research Group in 2018 under the supervision of Prof Andy Wheeler and Dr. Aaron Lim.

A common theme throughout Gerard’s academic career is the use of GIS technology to determine the ecosystem drivers that sculpt environments. During his bachelor’s degree he completed a dissertation, using GIS to map the geology of the Slieve Mish Mountains, a landscape defined by complex processes that span immense timescales. Continuing in this vein, Gerard turned his gaze to mapping more contemporary events in the marine realm, and as part of his master’s degree Gerard created a habitat suitability map for cold-water corals.


Currently, Gerard is a PhD researcher as part of the MarPAMM research project, whose goals are to create a holistic model for the distribution of key marine species within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and to create an effective monitoring protocol of these species to assess the status of the MPA over time.

Gerard is part of the Benthic Habitat mapping spoke of this project. His research is focused on using object-based image analysis (OBIA) in seabed habitat mapping and semi-automated classification. Specific focus is directed to the features that form as a consequence of environmental processes that are critical in forming a habitat for endangered marine species. He is also interested in the development of multibeam echosounder (MBES) water column data

to analyse the contents and their interaction with MBES. Previous research has used this data has been used to reveal information about marine species, ranging from dolphin activity to planktonic populations.



Research Interests

· Geographical Information Systems

· Object based image analysis

· Machine learning

· Pythonic coding solution





Summers, G., Lim, A., & Wheeler, A.J. (2022). A characterization of benthic curents from seabed bathymetry: an object-based image analysis of cold-water coral mounds, Remote Sensing, 144731 
Summers, G.; Lim, A.; Wheeler, A.J. A Scalable, Supervised Classification of Seabed Sediment Waves Using an Object-Based Image Analysis Approach. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2317.
Recent research cruises include:

CE21011 – Systematic Monitoring Survey of the Moira Mound Chain II (Day shift leader). Sediment Lander Recovery and Deployment, lander mounted ADCP, ROV video.

CO2421 – MarPAMM cruise to the Foyle, North Channel, and Sound of Jura (Night shift scientist). Scallop dredges, sled camera video, drop camera video, day grab sampling.

CE20011 – Systematic Monitoring Survey of the Moira Mound Chain (Day shift leader). Sediment Lander Deployment, ADCP, ROV video, ROV MBES.

CE20007 – INFOMAR Mapping (Night Shift Leader). Ship borne multifrequency MBES, Moving Velocity Profiler.

CV19023 – De-risking Offshore Wind Energy Development Potential in Irish Waters I (Night Shift Leader) – Vibro-coring, Grab sampling, Sparker Seismics, pinger seismics, ship borne MBES

CE19014 – Monitoring Changes in Submarine Canyon Coral Habitats II (Night shift leader).

CE19008 – Monitoring Changes in Submarine Canyon Coral Habitats I (Day shift leader)

CE18011 – Controls of Cold-Water Coral Habitats in Submarine Canyons II – MBES, push-coring, biological sampling, ROV MBES, ROV video (Scientist)

RH17002 – Controls of Cold-Water Coral Habitats in Submarine Canyons ROV video, vibro-coring (Scientist).

Professional Activity

Awards and Honors

Honorable mention at IGRM 2020 for Poster Presentation


Guest on Tommy's Outdoors podcast

Gerard Summers

Contact Details:



Marine Geosciences Research Group

University College Cork

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, North Mall Campus, University College Cork, North Mall, Cork City, T23 TK30