PhD Ana Sofia Aniceto was last week awarded the prestigious VISTA post doctoral position on technology development for the environmental sector.

Aniceto defended her ARCEx PhD in June 2018 with the topic “Unmanned aerial vehicles for marine mammal surveys in arctic and sub-arctic regions”. We are very happy to see her continue with her research career for another three years, and congratulate her on her achievements!

About the project:

Project title: Spatial and temporal analyses of marine mammal vocalizations using unmanned systems

Main objective: Study the ecology of sea mammals in the Lofoten and Vesterålen area in Northern Norway using hydrophone data collected with marine autonomous vehicles and subsea observatory.

Project description:

Knowledge on marine life and habitats forms the basis for management and risk assessment initiatives of maritime operations. Environmental monitoring is therefore key to determine the dynamic interactions between different trophic levels. Marine mammals spend a considerable time under water often vocalizing, and the use of acoustic equipment and suitable methods to interpret the recordings are increasingly important.

Marine autonomous vehicles, such as surface and underwater vehicles (ASVs and AUVs) have the potential to collect a variety of multidisciplinary data including, but not limited to, physical and biological features at different depths of the water column. Since 2017, the GLIDER project, led by Akvaplan-niva (funded by Demo2000 and ConocoPhillips), has involved the expertise of Kongsberg Maritime and Digital, Maritime Robotics, Offshore Sensing and the Christian Michelsen Research (CMR/NORCE) to develop and execute the deployment of three marine autonomous systems between Nordland and Troms regions. These vehicles also operated in the region of the Love Cabled Ocean Observatory (led by the Institute of Marine Research and Equinor).

The project exploits the multi-disciplinary GLIDER and LoVe data to estimate spatial overlap of marine mammals and their prey, marine mammal vocalisation seasonality, and overall better understand marine mammal ecology.

Work place: UiT

Supervisor: Raul Primicerio


VISTA was established in 1985 as a collaborative partnership between Statoil (now Equinor) and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. VISTA’s overall vision is to stimulate basic mathematical and scientific research related to the exploitation and management of Norway’s petroleum resources.

VISTA’s strategic goals:

  • Increase knowledge about the exploitation and management of Norway’s petroleum resources
  • Support research in mathematics and the natural sciences that helps provide a basis for improved, safe exploitation of Norway’s petroleum resources in the future
  • Support the development of knowledge that will form the foundation for future technologies for exploration, recovery, development and operation
  • Increase competencies related to exploitation and management within the bounds of good environmental stewardship