Weston Pike

MASc Student, Gavia Pilot

Weston Pike

Expertise: In-water robotic photographic surveys, Ecology and Environmental sciences
Affiliation: University of British Columbia
MASc (Current) Environmental Fluid Mechanics; Civil Engineering (UBC)
BSc (2005) Ecology and Environmental Biology (Thompson Rivers University)


Weston is currently a Master's student in Environmental Fluid Mechanics under the supervision of Dr. Bernard Laval at UBC. He is interested in benthic exploration by autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Using these submersibles he produces photographic surveys that bring the difficult to access underwater world into the realm of visual inspection. He has also identified and classified the microbialites of Kelly Lake and is interested in comparing the limnology of this microbialite bearing system to Pavilion Lake. Research interests additionally include lake ecology and environmental parameters as they pertain to microbialite structure and growth.

His Master's research focuses on the technical aspects of AUV mission design and data collection to optimize quality return of targeted science goals, particularly those pertaining to photographic surveys. He has used UBC-GAVIA to extensively image the deep basins of both Pavilion Lake and Kelly Lake. The use of AUVs in limnological investigation provides virtually unrestricted sensor payload access to the three dimensional body of water. This ultimately provides an effective means of conducting redundant sampling of a target area both temporally and spatially.

Major Science Goals

Explore and map the benthic regions of Pavilion Lake and Kelly Lake by photography with an AUV.
Examine environmental conditions important for microbialite growth.
Compare the physical and environmental parameters of Kelly Lake to those of Pavilion Lake.