Mr Gerard Summers

Mr Gerard Summers

Position: PhD Researcher



Gerard Summers graduated with a BSc in Geology from University College Cork in 2015. He has since completed an MSc in Applied Coastal and Marine Management from UCC in 2017. Thereafter, he joined the Marine Geology Research Group in 2018 under the supervision of Prof Andy Wheeler and Dr. Aaron Lim.

A common theme throughout Gerard’s academic career is the use of GIS technology to determine the drivers that sculpt environments. During his bachelor’s degree he completed a dissertation, using GIS to map the Slieve Mish Mountains, a landscape defined by complex and ancient geological processes. Continuing in this vein, Gerard turned his gaze to mapping contemporary events in the marine realm, and as part of his master’s degree Gerard created a habitat suitability map for cold-water corals.


Currently, Gerard is a PhD researcher as part of the MarPAMM research project, whose goals are to create a holistic model for the distribution of key marine species within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and to create an effective monitoring protocol of these species to assess the status of the MPA over time.

Gerard is part of the Benthic Habitat mapping spoke of this project. His research is focused on using object-based image analysis (OBIA) in seabed habitat mapping and semi-automated classification. Specific focus is directed to the features that form as a consequence of environmental processes that are critical in forming a habitat for endangered marine species. He is also interested in the development of multibeam echosounder (MBES) water column data to analyse the contents and their interaction with MBES.  Previous research has used this data has been used to reveal information about marine species, ranging from dolphin activity to planktonic populations.

Research Cruises

CE20011 – Systematic Monitoring Survey of the Moira Mound Chain (Day shift leader). Sediment Lander Deployment, ADCP, ROV video, ROV MBES.

CE20007 – INFOMAR Mapping (Night Shift Leader). Ship borne multifrequency MBES, Moving Velocity Profiler.

CV19023 – De-risking Offshore Wind Energy Development Potential in Irish Waters I (Night Shift Leader) – Vibro-coring, Grab sampling, Sparker Seismics, pinger seismics, ship borne MBES

CE19014 – Monitoring Changes in Submarine Canyon Coral Habitats II (Night shift leader).

CE19008 – Monitoring Changes in Submarine Canyon Coral Habitats I (Day shift leader)

CE18011 – Controls of Cold-Water Coral Habitats in Submarine Canyons II – MBES, push-coring, biological sampling, ROV MBES, ROV video (Scientist)

RH17002 – Controls of Cold-Water Coral Habitats in Submarine Canyons ROV video, vibro-coring (Scientist).

Awards and Grants

2020: IGRM Poster Presentation (Honourable Mention)


Summers, G.; Lim, A.; Wheeler, A.J. A Scalable, Supervised Classification of Seabed Sediment Waves Using an Object-Based Image Analysis Approach. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2317.