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Understanding the health of tropical seagrasses with remote sensing – using drones as a novel method

PhD defence, Friday 24 February 2023, Idrissa Yussuf Hamad

Idrissa Yussuf Hamad

During his PhD studies, Idrissa Yussuf Hamad researched the health of seagrass meadows of tropical waters using experiences of Zanzibar with a novel application of drones.  Seagrasses are important sub-merged shallow-water ecosystems that play critical ecological roles.  Idrissa Yussuf Hamad studied how drone technology can be used to obtain relevant information on health conditions of seagrasses; explored potentials of combining drone observations with other environmental data to model seagrass distribution; assessed pollution exposure with hydrodynamics model; and developed useful health index to assess the seagrass ecological status and link to human pressures. The new research findings contribute to the understanding of the utility of drones for seagrass monitoring; contribute to the knowledge of habitat suitability model and its application to understand conditions regulating seagrass distribution in tropical waters; as well as to the knowledge of health indicators with a multi-parameter index to assess seagrass ecological status.

The PhD study was completed at Department of Ecoscience (Marine Diversity and Experimental Ecology- Environmental monitoring and management), Faculty of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday, 24th February, 2023 at 12.00
Place: Building A, room A1.20, Lecture Theatre: Old Canteen, Department of Ecoscience, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde
Title of PhD thesis: Examining seagrass ecosystems health in tropical waters with the application of remote sensing techniques: Experiences from Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Contact information: Idrissa Yussuf Hamad, e-mail: iyhamad19@ecos.au.dk

Members of the assessment committee:

PhD, Associate Professor, Mogens Flindt, Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

PhD., Senior Research Scientist, Megan Saunders, Coasts and Ocean Research (COR) Program at CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Brisbane, Australia

Senior researcher, Morten Frederiksen,  (chair), Department of Ecoscience, Aarhus University, Denmark


Main supervisor:
PhD, Professor, Peter Anton Upadhyay Staehr, Department of Ecoscience, Aarhus University, Denmark.


PhD, Professor Mohammed A. Sheikh, Department of Natural Sciences, State University of Zanzibar, Tanzania

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Technical Sciences/GSTS,

Jens Baggesens Vej 53, building 5221, 8200 Aarhus N.

17427 / i43