#2020Shortlist

Lilian Lieber

QUEENS UNIVERSITY BELFAST

#SustainableDevelopment    –  🏵️ Shortlist 2020 #FWISAward

“Reducing Environmental Uncertainties for Sustainable Ocean Energy”

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Dr Lieber displays expertise across multiple disciplines within biology and engineering. She is working to use acoustic instrumentation and data analysis in order to understand how we can use ocean energy safely.

Ocean energy extraction (e.g. from wind, waves and tides) is very promising for sustainable energy harvesting as it will reduce carbon production drastically. Although very promising for human energy demands, these structures encroach on ocean habitats and so Dr Lieber proposes to investigate the impact that they have on predator-prey relationships. With this knowledge, she hopes to be able to inform Blue Economy choices surrounding infrastructure placement and upkeep.

Dr Lieber is an incredibly promising researcher and has already had her work recognised globally at the International Federation of the Hydrographic Societies in 2014. Her proposal to investigate the complex interactions between physics, prey availability and predators around ocean energy sites is incredibly important as it will help to minimize environmental trade-offs between energy structures, biodiversity and coastal ecosystem resilience. By looking at fish aggregations and predator interactions around ocean structures, Dr Lieber aims to understand how predators are exploiting the manmade changes in habitat. The repercussions of increased predator feeding may have drastic impacts on the food chain and so it is vital that we consider the biodiversity threats carefully.

Quote

“Ocean energy can contribute a great deal toward the protection or our atmosphere – without damaging marine ecosystems that are equally vital to the planet’s future.”

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Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund

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