I am a Mechanical Engineer with interest in marine biology. I moved from Greece to Edinburgh in 2012 in order to study Mechanical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University. I graduated in June of 2017 and started my PhD at the University of Edinburgh in September of 2017. My research is focused around modelling how corals grow in various environmental conditions.
The ecosystem services provided by coral reefs are worth over $100 billion annually and include coast line protection, tourism, food and medical derivatives. However, coral reefs (tropical and cold) are at threat from climate change. The proliferation of corals is reliant upon optimal current and light conditions, and we propose that the growth of reefs is determined by the ‘Goldilocks Zone’, where conditions are ‘just right’. By creating a model to understand coral growth under optimal conditions, it will be possible to simulate a variety of different future environments. Such a model would be a powerful tool for coral reef management.
The Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method will be used for the model as its mesh-free Lagrangian nature is ideal for simulations where the examined object (i.e. a coral) is growing dynamically. The model will be written in C++ programming language and will be parallelized with the Open Multi-Processing (OpenMP) application programming interface to allow for time-effective high-resolution simulations.