Mapping, Modelling and Monitoring Key Processes and Controls on Cold-water Coral Habitats in Submarine Canyons (MMMonKey_Pro)

The MMMonKey_Pro programme utilises 5 dedicated researchers to carry out 4 individual but interdependent research programmes. These 4 research projects co-jointly aim to understand the spatial and temporal habitat development, thresholds and processes of a range of cold-water coral dominated habitats within the canyon. These habitats include individual coral colonies, coral gardens, coral mounds and vertical cliff faces. In a wider context, the programmes utilises and, in turn, refines a number of novel technologies and techniques including 3D photogrammetry, ROV-mounted multibeam, ROV-vibrocoring, lander systems in submarine canyons and CT-scanning of core.


1: To develop an understanding of the interaction and mutual control of submarine canyon processes and CWC habitat functioning to better inform responsible interaction with this environment, and;

2: To develop advanced methodologies to more effectively study deep-water heterogeneous dynamic biotic habitats including CWCs

MMMonkey_Pro Publications

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.

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.

de Oliviera, L.M.C., de Oliveira, P.A.., Lim, A., Wheeler, A.J. & Conti, L. (2022). Developing mobile applications with augmented reality and 3D photogrammetry for visualisation of cold-water coral reefs. Geosciences 12, 356.

de Oliveira, L.M., Lim, A., Conti, L.A. & Wheeler, A.J. (2021). 3D classification of cold-water coral reefs: A comparison of classification techniques for 3D reconstructions of cold-water coral reefs and seabed. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2021.640713
Lim, A., Wheeler, A.J., Price, D., O’Reilly, L., Harris, K. & Conti, C. (2020). Influence of benthic currents on cold-water coral habitats in the upper Porcupine Bank Canyon, NE Atlantic: a combined benthic monitoring and 3D  photogrammetric investigation.NatureScience Reports(2020) 10:19433.
O'Reilly, L., Fentimen, R., Butschek, F.,  Titschack, J., Lim A.,  Moore, N.,  O'Connor, O.J.,  Appah, J.,  H arris, K.,  Vennemann, T., W heeler, 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.
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.
Wheeler, A.J., Lim, A., Butschek, F., O’Reilly, L. & O’Driscoll, P. (2021). The “Little MonSta” deep-sea benthic, precision deployable, multi-sensor and sampling lander array.  Sensors, 21 3355. doi: 10.3390/s21103355


Dr Aaron Lim (PI)

Prof Andy Wheeler (PI)

John Appah (PhD Researcher)

Larissa Macedo (PhD Researcher)

Luke O’Reilly (PhD Researcher)

Kimberley Harris (RA)


Funded By

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