Monitoring beneath the waves


A student from the Tremough Campus at Falmouth University is collaborating with Falmouth Harbour Commissioners to investigate underwater noise and its effect on marine wildlife in Falmouth Bay.

Jo Garrett carrying out her research on FabTest
Jo Garrett carrying out her research on FabTest

PhD researcher Jo Garrett is assisting the Harbour Commissioners to explore the potential impacts of the FabTest marine renewable energy device testing facility in Falmouth Bay.

This PhD project, which is funded by the European Social Fund, is allowing the Harbour Commissioners to monitor underwater acoustics and environmental conditions, and Garrett to develop her skills and knowledge in the area.

Her supervisor, Dr Lars Johanning, explained: “The Falmouth Bay marine energy demonstration site is an attractive facility for marine energy device developers to test their devices in a realistic environment prior to full commercial deployments.

“Sound monitoring is a requirement for the licence allowing device testing at the site, and Jo’s ESF funded PhD project allows us to understand the impact from sound produced by wave energy converters. Her project helps speed up the consenting process and reduces the cost for the developers, facilitating the development of the industry in Cornwall which then brings business to the area.”

Mark Sansom, chief executive at Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, added: “We are delighted to be involved in this innovative project. It will be vital for the renewable industry that licensing decisions are based on data and the early collection of comprehensive background data will assist this process.”

The Cornwall Campus is shared and jointly managed by the University of Exeter and Falmouth University in an arrangement that is unique to the UK.