John Appah


John obtained his BSc Environmental Science degree from the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana, where he served as a research and teaching assistant. Subsequently, he pursued his MSc Biology: Environment, Biodiversity and Ecosystems at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium. John also holds a double master certificate in Spatial Ecotoxicology and Ecotoxicological Risk Assessment (open community approach) from the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany.

John was appointed on January 2018 onto the Mapping, Monitoring and Modelling Key Processes and Controls on Cold-Water Coral Habitats in Submarine Canyons (MMMonKey_Pro) project under the supervision of Prof Andy Wheeler and Dr Ruth Ramsay. His project investigates the key control processes on the spatial distribution of benthic megafauna in cold-water coral (CWC) rich habitats in the Porcupine Bank Canyon (PBC), NE Atlantic. He utilizes data from hull-mounted multibeam echosounder (MBES), conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) and remotely operated vessel (ROV) based benthic video surveys to map and monitor CWC habitats in the canyon. He also employs histology and molecular techniques to assess the health status of the main framework forming scleractinian corals Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata as part of his research.

Research Interests

Cold-water corals


O'Reilly, L., Fentimen, R., Butschek, F., Titschack, J., Lim A., Moore, N., O'Connor, O.J., Appah, J.Harris, K., Vennemann, T., Wheeler, A.J. (2022). Environmental forcing by submarine canyons: Evidence between two closely situated cold-water coral mounds (Porcupine Bank Canyon and Western Porcupine Bank, NE Atlantic), Marine Geology, 454.

Appah, J.K.M., Killeen, O., Lim, A., O'Riordan, R., O'Reilly, L., Wheeler, A.J. (2022). Accumulation of marine litter in cold-water coral habitats: A comparative study of two Irish Special Areas of Conservation, NE Atlantic. Marine Pollution Bulletin.

O'Reilly, L., Lim A., Titschack, J., Moore, N., O'Connor, O.J., Appah, J.Fentimen, R.Butschek, F., Harris, K., Vennemann, T., Wheeler, A.J. (2022). Using novel methods to track British and Irish Ice Sheet dynamics since the Late Pleistocene, along the west Porcupine Bank, NE Atlantic. Quaternary Science Reviews.

Appah, J.K.M., Lim, A., Harris, K., O’Riordan, R., O’Reilly, L. and Wheeler, A.J., (2020). Are non-reef habitats as important to benthic diversity and composition as coral reef and rubble habitats in submarine canyons? Analysis of controls on benthic megafauna distribution in the Porcupine Bank Canyon, NE Atlantic. Frontiers in Marine Science

Recent research cruises:

CE19014 – Monitoring Changes in Submarine Canyon Coral Habitats II (Marine Biologist)

CE19008 – Monitoring Changes in Submarine Canyon Coral Habitats I (Marine Biologist)

CE18011 – Controls of Cold-Water Coral Habitat in Submarine Canyons II (Marine Biologist)

John Appah

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