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We congratulate our colleagues Anna Backes and Julika Voss who successfully completed their respective master thesis earlier this year! Both studies were part of projects carried out at BioConsult SH.

Anna Backes

Anna Backes is part of our environmental and conservation planning team. She specialises in raised bogs as well as assessments, concepts for measures and reports for species protected under the Habitats Directive. She concluded her course of study in Environmental Management at the University of Kiel with her thesis “Degradation, succession, and regeneration processes in the raised bog Königsmoor – Classification of vegetation indicators with UAV data”. The study was part of a pilot project carried out by BioConsult SH on behalf of the Foundation for Nature Conservation (Stiftung Naturschutz) Schleswig-Holstein.

In her thesis, Anna analysed the degradation, succession and regeneration areas of raised bogs by training a random forest algorithm using 18 indicator plants and multi-spectral drone-based vegetation mapping aiming to automatically classify the entire area.

In the future, automated capture of single plant species or species groups of plants may facilitate monitoring of Natura 2000 sites or habitat analyses for single species.

Julika Voß

After an internship ten years ago, Julika Voß stayed with us helping us out during her time at school and freelancing throughout her student time. She now concluded her studies in Marine Environmental Sciences (Marine Umweltwissenschaften) at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg.

At BioConsult SH, Julika's thesis “Response of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena L., 1758) to the FaunaGuard and subsequent piling during the construction of offshore wind farms” was supervised and initially examined by Dr. Armin Rose of our offshore team. The FaunaGuard is an acoustic system used to deter harbour porpoises temporarily from areas at risk of the occurrence of excess noise. In a cross-project evaluation, Julika analysed data of occasions where the system was used and compared these to data collected using previous methods.

The study shows that the FaunaGuard system is as an effective acoustic deterrence device for use in the North and Baltic Seas to deter harbour porpoises temporarily from a smaller area exposed to high levels of noise. Deterrence using the FaunaGuard system will therefore be an important step towards piling with less impact on the harbour porpoise.

We are proud for Anna and Julika and wish them both all the best for the future.