What impact does man have on the North Sea?


About the research

The bottom of the North Sea is not only full of sand, but also full of life, such as crabs, starfish, worms, snails, .... But what impact does man, via e.g. sand extraction, have on all that seafloor life? To find out, experts take samples of the seabed in which they visually identify animals. This way, it can take up to 10 hours to analyse one sample. In Laure Van den Bulcke's (ILVO - UGent) opinion, there is a faster, more accurate, and less expensive way. In this video, she explains how.

Laure Van den Bulcke
ILVO - UGent

After an exciting thesis for her Master of Science in Biology studies, Laure chose to dive further into the marine world as a Ph.D. student at ILVO and UGent. She is investigating the use of DNA-based techniques to study the effect of human activities on our sea, focusing on sand mining as a case study. Implementing these techniques can contribute to more efficient monitoring, which is important to make optimal use of the benefits the sea offers us, with minimal environmental impact.