PhD Project Title: Revolutionising the assessment and management of Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) through the use of direct age estimation modelling
Supervisors: Dr Rick Officer, Dr Ian O’Connor and Dr Colm Lordan
My research focus is fisheries science, particularly the study of the efficacy of direct age determination as a means of assessing exploited crustacean populations. Until recently, it was not thought possible to directly and accurately age crustacean species: permanent growth structures were thought to be lost during the biological process of moulting. However recent research has shown that calcified parts of the eyestalk and gastric mill are retained through moults and are thought to preserve annual growth bands in species of shrimp, crab and lobster.
My project aims to address significant knowledge gaps regarding Irish Nephrops populations, such as why there are such differing growth rates and densities observed between populations. The ability to directly age these crustacea would facilitate biological description of their populations in terms of growth, mortality, reproductive success and other age-structured processes that routinely inform management decisions in exploited fisheries. Preliminary research has shown that sections of the gastric mill from Nephrops do contain growth increment patterns similar to those seen in fish bones and otoliths. Validation is needed to confirm the periodicity of these increments.
The long-term objective of this project will be to inform the adoption of age structured population models for the assessment and management of Nephrops fisheries, following the validation of direct ageing methods. Whilst primary benefits will accrue to Nephrops fisheries, proving the efficacy of age-based methods for Nephrops is expected to allow improved assessment and management of crustacean fisheries generally.
BSc (Hons) Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology (First Class)
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Ireland, 2009-2013
Dissertation Title: Indices of stock status of albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) derived from the Irish Mid Water Paired Trawl Fishery
Supervisor: Dr Rick Officer
The Crustacean Society (TCS)
5th International Otolith Symposium, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, 2014
Personal Sea Survival Techniques (PST) Certificate
RYA National Powerboat Level 2 Certificate
Cosgrove, R., Sheridan, M., Minto, C., & Officer, R. (2014). Application of finite mixture models to catch rate standardization better represents fleet behaviour and improves precision. Fisheries Research. 153. 83-88.
Cosgrove, R., Arregui, I., Arrizabalaga, H., Goni, N., & Sheridan, M. (2014). New insights to behaviour of North Atlantic albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) observed with pop-up satellite archival tags. Fisheries Research. 150. 89-99.
Poster Presentation: A novel approach for age estimation of Norway lobster. 5th International Otolith Symposium 2014 (IOS2014), Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain.
Telephone number(s): +353 (0) 833512529
Postal Address: Marine and Freshwater Research Centre, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Galway, Ireland