Earthwatch PI, Alice E. Hall, Ph.D.

Alice E Hall, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Plymouth

Dr Alice Hall is a postdoctoral researcher working at the University of Plymouth. She is also a visiting fellow at Bournemouth University. She specializes in marine biology and ecological engineering. Her work focuses on building multifunctional structures that can provide suitable habitat for marine life. Alice is experienced with a range of survey techniques including SCUBA, Remotely Operated Vehicles, Baited underwater video, acoustic telemetry and photogrammetry.

Why are you interested in your research focus?

I am passionate about the marine environment and believe that we should conserve the incredible diversity of organisms that it supports. Ocean sprawl is having negative effects on the marine environment. Habitats are being lost and replaced by hard artificial structures. I understand that hard artificial structures have to be built for infrastructure and coastal protection; however, we need to build structures that can perform a function, such as prevent coastal erosion, and also provide suitable habitat for marine life. Sometimes the smallest of interventions, such as drilling small pits and grooves into structures to provide water retention and refuge, can have a huge impact on the diversity of an artificial structure. Developing this research is my passion, and I hope that one day all coastal engineers will be using eco-engineering in their coastal infrastructure.

A great moment in the field

One of my most memorable moments in the field was on the way back from conducting an underwater habitat classification survey on the south coast of the UK. While steaming back to port our survey vessel was surrounded by a pod of 40 bottlenose dolphins, which played and swam next to the boat for a good 20 minutes. I will admit I was screaming like a little girl, and watching the dolphins effortlessly swimming in the bow of the boat was spectacular. Some people may think this is a daily occurrence for a marine biologist, but this is not the case. This truly was an amazing experience, and one I will never forget- what a day to be a marine biologist!

Education
  • MSc on Temporal and spatial community dynamics of natural intertidal substrata and coastal defence structures (University of Hull)
  • BSc (Hons) Coastal Marine Biology (University of Hull)
  • PhD in The ecology and ecological enhancement of artificial coastal structures (Bournemouth University)
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