Hard substrate determines the distribution of specific species in the North Sea. In the past there was more submerged hard substrate in the North Sea than today. E.g. large oyster beds, peat banks and glacial boulders were found. Most of these hard substrates have disappeared.
However, humans also introduced new substrates, e.g. shipwrecks, platforms, wind farms and future multiple use platforms. These artificial hard substrates may play an important role for species that depend on hard substrates as places to settle.
In my projects we investigate the biodiversity on these man-made hard structures. We compare historic and present natural hard substrate communities to those on artificial hard substrates. We describe the biodiversity of macro fauna on and near these hard substrates using diving surveys and data and video footage from oil & gas and wind farm companies. We develop in situ measurement and sampling equipment and apply these to reefs in the North Sea.