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Associate Head of Ocean BioGeosciences;Leader of Seafloor Ecosystems
Ocean BioGeosciences
vaih at
+44 (0)23 8059 6575



Dr Veerle Huvenne is a marine geoscientist with more than ten years of experience in the study of complex deep-sea environments such as cold-water coral reefs, submarine canyons, hydrothermal vents or sandy contourites. She has participated in >25 international expeditions at sea, acting several times as chief scientist, or as scientific liaison during technical experiments or equipment trials. Her multidisciplinary approach combines aspects of marine geology, sedimentology, marine biology, ecology, geophysics, remote sensing, spatial & geostatistics and GIS for the holistic study of these environments and their governing (geological) processes.

Her main fields of research are:

  • Marine habitat mapping: specifically of deep-sea environments, using a combination of acoustic survey techniques, computer-based image analysis, spatial statistics, sampling and video surveying. In addition to shipborne surveys, this includes the use and development of underwater vehicles (e.g., ROV Isis or AUV Autosub6000)
  • Cold-water corals and their geological/sedimentological environment: study of the initiation and development of cold-water coral reefs and mounds, based on 2D & 3D seismics, sidescan sonar, multibeam bathymetry, core information (including IODP cores), (ROV) video data and seabed samples. Specific investigation of the role of the local sedimentary regime on coral growth and mound development.
  • Submarine canyons: study of canyon morphology, sediment transport processes and periodicity, spatial distribution of habitats and communities.
  • Deep-sea sediment dynamics: analysis of seabed samples, IODP & piston cores, current meter measurements and bedform morphologies to determine current strengths, directions and periodicities at the seabed plus their influence on the resulting sedimentary deposits (specifically in relation to benthic habitats). Expertise in grainsize analyses.