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Project Title: Crumbling Reefs: Image based finite element simulations to investigate the impact of ocean acidification on Scottish cold water corals.
Coral reefs are declining in many areas due to the impact of global warming, human factors and several other threats. My project is to establish finite element models based on CT data sets of cold water corals. These data sets are processed using Python, specifically ITK, VTK and CGAL modules, which together, form an extremely powerful image processing suite. The models of ‘live’ and ‘dead’ corals will then be used as a computation simulation laboratory to investigate the error in bending tests of coral branches. These developed models will help to establish a standardised method for the testing of corals. My project aims to ultimately replace, reduce, or refine in vitro experimentation so that vulnerable ecosystems can be kept intact or are harmed with minimal impact.
Awarded: Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship
Field: Mechanical Engineering
University: Heriot-Watt University