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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

SMMI Scholar success at International Symposium

Published: 13 May 2019
Jenny receiving the best student po
Jenny receiving the best student poster award from Prof Tamaki Ura

Jenny Walker, NEXUSS/SMMI LTDS PhD student in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science at the University of Southampton was awarded first place in the student poster competition at the 11th IEEE International Symposium for Underwater Technology (UT2019)  This year's UT symposium was hosted by the National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in its stunning campus nestled between mountains and the ocean. The conference hosted 10 student poster presentations and over 70 technical talks, with presenters from Taiwan, China, America, Japan, Russia, the UK, and more.

Jenny's winning poster, entitled “The effect of physics based corrections and data augmentation on transfer learning for segmentation of benthic imagery”, focuses on how to best use the limited amount of data available to train deep learning neural networks to segment deep sea imagery. Even though the technology to collect benthic imagery using autonomous marine robotic systems is relatively mature, with developments of high TRL technology such as the BioCam as part of NERC's Oceanids program, the real bottleneck is how to extract useful information from the millions of images that can now be collected in a single expedition. This study represents a big step forward towards automated annotation and segmentation of animals in these images so that the marine science community can more effectively answer questions about the distribution of biomass, biodiversity and other essential ocean variables on the seafloor.


Jenny presenting her poster to members of the judging panel
Jenny presenting her poster to members of the judging panel

Jenny said:

"The poster competition was fierce, some incredible work is being done in the field of underwater technology, and some impressive results were being presented. It’s an honour to have been awarded best poster presentation. This was an overwhelming and eye opening experience. I’d like to thank everyone involved in the organising and running of the event, it was a real pleasure to attend."

Jenny received a prize and the winners certificate from Prof Tamaki Ura, founder of the UT symposium.

This cross-disciplinary research is being carried out by Jenny as part of her PhD with the FSI group in the School of Engineering, under the supervision of Dr Blair Thornton SoE CMEE FSI, Prof Adam Prugel-Bennet ECS VLC, Dr Veerle Huvenne NOC and Dr Henry Ruhl NOC.

 Jenny (2nd from left) receiving the prize from Prof Tamaki Ura
Jenny (2nd from left) receiving the prize from Prof Tamaki Ura
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