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Outreach & Press - Arjun Chennu

Digitizing the coral reef: HyperDiver Surveys

HyperDiver is a diver-operable spectral surveying tool that I developed along with Paul Färber at MPI Bremen. This novel instrument allows us to capture rich images of shallow marine habitats such as coral reefs, seagrass beds, etc. However, large amounts of coastal survey data is mounting and automated ways of analyzing them are required. For this, I developed software to combine spectral analysis with machine learning ideas to 'learn' how to identify and map coral reef habitats. To do this with great detail to the coral reef taxonomy, I teamed up with Dr. Joost den Haan (MPI Bremen) who is a coral reef specialist and are currently developing this technique.

Our work so far shows great potential to rapidly and comprehensively describe the benthic biodiversity of coral reef ecosystems, an effort I call 'digitizing the coral reef'. We present this idea in a short video.

See the publication for detailed information.


Documentary featuring HyperDiver use in coral reefs

A documentary film "Oceans of the future" by Pierre-François Didek from the "Dream the future" series highlighted the HyperDiver technology and its use to monitor and understand coral reefs. An excerpt from this film is shown here with permission. All rights remain with the original publisher and creators.


  • Article in Nature news
  • Article in "Research Success Stories" by the European Commission
  • Article on TARA Oceans: French Polynesia expedition
  • Article in MIT German Technology Review
  • Article in
  • Radio interview with Westdeutscher Rundfunk

Annette Barthelt Science Prize

  • Prize for best doctoral dissertation in marine sciences by the Annette Barthelt Stiftung
  • GEOMAR article on Annette Barthelt Prize ceremony (29 April 2016)
  • MPI Bremen press release
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