Visiting undergraduate and postgraduate students can research a wide range of integrated conservation and marine biology topics at our field sites in Madagascar and Belize.
"Beyond being a first-class conservation organisation, Blue Ventures is staffed and directed by true leaders in the marine sciences who have delivered a wealth of fundamental research on par with many academic institutions.
Blue Ventures is therefore poised to offer an outstanding education experience to undergraduates and postgraduates alike, who can rise to the challenge of good science."
Dr Sam Purkis - Professor, National Reef Institute, Nova Southeastern University
Past independent research projects have covered such diverse issues as the ecological monitoring of coral reefs and feasibility studies for community-based aquaculture development.
Blue Ventures do not offer financial support or funding for independent research projects, however, we can host undergraduate and postgraduate students at our field sites and offer an independent research package that includes project guidance and supervision, food and accommodation, site transfers, pastoral care while in the field, and comprehensive health and safety provision. Boat use, scuba diving and local guides can all be arranged at additional cost; please download the Independent Research Programme booklet and contact us for more information.
We suggest that undergraduate students choose a project that can utilise archived databases and is not dependent on new data collection due to the time constraints involved with undergradaute thesis projects. While we advise prospective researchers to choose from our list of project titles, we do also welcome applications from students with their own projects.
"What I learned and felt during my expedition with Blue Ventures helped propel me to and through a graduate degree in Marine Science. The people and places I experienced through BV were a wonderful start to my journey towards becoming a published scientist."
Geoff Hensgen - Madagascar expedition
If you are interested in undertaking an independent research project with Blue Ventures then please:
Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Madagascar
- The effects of short-term spatio-temporal closures of mangrove areas on fish populations
- Visualisation of traditional crab captures data in western Madagascar
- Study of national octopus fishery status and trends in Madagascar
- Study on status and trends of octopus fisheries in the Western Indian Ocean
- Analysis of growth rates of hatchery-reared holothurians (Holothuria scabra) in community-managed aquaculture farms
- Madagascar as a case of study for red seaweed farming implementation in the WIO
- A study of local farmer income over the course of the aquaculture programme since 2007
- Effectiveness of community-based marine aquaculture in Western Indian Ocean: what can be learned from past and present, successes and failures in order to further development
GIS & Remote Sensing studies
- Assessing the status of methods for detecting mangrove degradation through geospatial analysis
- Multi-criteria analysis for the definition of REDD+ project boundaries
- Identifying and deriving spatial surrogates for the primary drivers of mangrove deforestation
- Assessing the status of methods for modelling future deforestation scenarios
- Assessing natural regeneration within areas of deforested mangrove
- Centralising and organising the Blue Forests Project’s geospatial database
Socio-economic and integrated studies
- Analysis of the agents, drivers and underlying causes of mangrove deforestation in Madagascar’s northwest
- Value chain analysis of charcoal production in Madagascar’s NW coast
- Migration of inland peoples to coastal environments in the Mikea forest
- Development of the Barren Islands LMMA sustainable finance plan
- Climate adaptation impacts of a forest carbon project in Velondriake locally- managed marine area
- Analysis of the drivers, evolution and impacts of the demographic pressure on the Barren Isles ecosystems
Carbon & Forestry studies
- Sustainable harvest of mangroves in Madagascar
- Alternative fuel-wood plantations to prevent leakage of mangrove REDD+ activities
- Mangrove forest regeneration after harvesting and the associated changes in carbon stocks
- Changes in mangrove carbon stocks associated with natural die-off
- Comprehensive assessment of the seagrass meadows of the Velondriake LMMA and their value for blue carbon projects
Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Belize
- Describing community structure of reef fish within seagrass, mangrove and reef habitats: using ecological data to evaluate management effectiveness of Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve
- Why all the algae? An assessment of the population status and distribution of key reef herbivore, Diadema antillarum, in Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve
- The value and vulnerability of avifauna in Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve: forming recommendations to ensure planned tourism development is environmentally-sound