Emma O’Donnell ’21, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Certificate(s): Applications of Computing

I worked on implementing a machine learning program that would automate the annotation of the Baited Remote Underwater Video Surveys (BRUVS) that are used to measure the biodiversity of fish species on Bermuda’s reefs. The current method of annotating one hour of video takes up to 150 hours. With 200 videos left to annotate, automating this process could save a substantial amount of time and money. As the primary researcher, I was faced with many challenges and often had to find creative solutions to the issues that arose. I learned the importance of perseverance and flexibility because, as I saw, research can be turbulent. I had to be willing to go in completely new directions when necessary. I truly enjoyed working on the implementation of the program. The intersection between ecology, computer science and my experience made me extremely excited to major in ecology and evolutionary biology. I am grateful for the insight the internship gave me into the world of research and I look forward to exploring it.