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Enviromental Sensors

This project aims to prototype, design and develop a smart oyster to monitor environmental factors that affect the growth of oysters in coastal zones.

Aquaculture is the world’s fastest growing food production sector, and now produces more seafood than capture fisheries. Making improvements to farming practices can have big impacts on food sustainability and safety, production volumes and sector livelihoods. Oyster farming is an important industry in coastal areas all around the world, and makes the greatest contribution to New South Wales aquaculture sector, accounting for 68% of production by value, worth $44.3 million (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, 2019).

Farms usually operate in places that are difficult to reach, limiting data collection, in particular under-water. Providing oyster farms with accurate, real-time information about environmental factors that influence the growth and safety of their oysters and their farm’s productivity has potential to boost production and mitigate production risks (e.g. pollution and climate change events).

The team, alongside the Oyster farming community, is designing an artificial smart oyster containing multiple sensors. The oyster will monitor not only environmental factors such as the water temperature and the salinity, but also its location and its rocking due to tidal movements. This data will be made available to oyster farmers, enabling them to monitor and assess the conditions of their stock, in (near) real-time through a dashboard via a web/phone app. Rapid prototyping (3D printing) will be used to develop an optimum design and trial different coatings to cope with the issue of marine fouling. 

The team

Dr. Johan Barthélemy (EIS) is the leader of the Digital Living Lab and an expert in the design of smart and ai-based sensors with a strong background in data analytics.

Dr. Mehrdad Amirghasemi (EIS) is an ECR with expertise in cloud computing and database management.

Dr. Hugh Forehead (EIS) is a research fellow with extensive expertise in marine chemistry and environmental monitoring. Sen. Prof. Pascal Perez (EIS)

Dr. Tillmann Boehme (BAL) is an expert in supply chain design and business acceleration includingcommercialisation.

Dr. Anna Farmery is a UOW VC Post Doc ECR at ANCORS with expertise in improving sustainability and food and nutrition security outcomes in seafood value chains.

The academics will have the support of the following team:

Dr. Hampus Eriksson (WorldFish, a CGIAR centre) is an expert in developing fish-based livelihoods for nutrition security and poverty reduction in developing countries. He is also an Honorary Senior Fellow at ANCORS.

Benoît Passot (EIS) has expertise in managing initiatives with Internet-of-Things technology.

Paul Jones (UOW Media) is a photo journalist and experienced story-teller.


This project is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals