Current Projects List
Project Deliverables & Milestones
Publications, Reports & Presentations
The Lead Contractor is the University of Victoria (VENUS/NEPTUNE Projects and LACIR). The partner organizations are McGill University and the Vancouver Aquarium.
The high definition video portion of the project is coordinated by John Roston who was until recently Director of Instructional Multimedia Services at McGill. He is now a Video Systems Consultant living in Richmond, BC. He has 30 years experience in media production and use including 12 years in the design and programming of interactive video programs. He is a founding member of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology at McGill and has given many papers on interactive multimedia at international conferences as well as invited presentations in both the U.S. and Canada . Roston has previously coordinated and provided control for major research projects funded by Industry Canada and Canarie including the ANAST projects "McGill Advanced Learnware Network" and "Remote Video Interpreting using CA*net3" as well the Canarie AAP project "Shared Spaces – High Definition Ultra-Videoconferencing" and the IIP project "Undersea Window – High Definition Video Online."
The project’s camera control software tasks are the responsibility of Jeremy Cooperstock, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill, member of the Centre for Intelligent Machines and the Centre for Inter-disciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology. Cooperstock's research interests focus on augmenting technology to make complex systems more usable and applying computer mediation to facilitate human communication. In 1999, he led the software development for the world's first demonstration of Dolby Digital 5.1 multi-channel audio streaming over the Internet. In 2000, he followed this with reliable 12-channel, high-resolution audio streaming from Montreal to Los Angeles , where it was mixed live as a demonstration of the "recording studio that spans a continent." Most recently, he has been leading the technical development of McGill's ultra-videoconferencing system and developing the Shared Reality Environment, a space that provides distributed individuals the experience of being in the same room at the same time. His work has been recognized with the ITRC (now CITO) award for Increasing Awareness in Leading Edge Technology and a Distinction Award from the Audio Engineering Society.
Benoît Pirenne has overall responsibility for the project. He is NEPTUNE Canada Associate Director, Information Technology at the University of Victoria since October 2004. He is in charge of all Data Management and Archiving aspects (from system development to operations) of both the VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada observatories. He directs a group of 15 computer professionals organized in three teams. Previously, Pirenne spent 18 years at the European Southern Observatory (ESO, Munich, Germany), a leading Organization for astronomical research. At ESO Pirenne assumed a number of scientific and technical positions. As Head of the Operations Technical Support Department in this Organization, he was responsible for running the Data Management and Archiving system supporting both ESO's telescopes and NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope. Pirenne has a BA in computer science from Liège, Belgium, and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Namur, Belgium.
Colin Bradley is responsible for the the underwater engineering aspects of the project. He is Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Canada Research Chair and Director of the Laboratory for Automation, Communication and Information Systems Research. He has 20 years experience in many aspects of mechanical, electrical and optical engineering and has worked at the University of Victoria since 1988. His current primary research interests are in the design and implementation of underwater vehicles; specifically, tethered vehicles and autonomous vehicles. Bradley has recently led two large research projects spanning many aspects of engineering and software, funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund and NSERC. He has also led collaborative projects with industry and the National Research Council. He has just completed two underwater vehicle development projects with the research arm of the Department of National Defence.
Chris Barnes is Project Director of NEPTUNE Canada (2001-), part of the large US/Canada NEPTUNE megaproject that will revolutionize the ocean sciences. He will assist in the oversight, co-ordination and applications of this CIIP work with other NEPTUNE researchers. For the previous decade, he served as Director of both the Centre for Earth and Ocean Research and the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at University of Victoria . From 1987-89, he was Director General of the Sedimentary and Marine Branch, Geological Survey of Canada. He has managed a wide range of earth and ocean science projects. Barnes has served on many boards/councils, including: President of the Geological Association of Canada, Canadian Geoscience Council, Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada, and Pacific Marine Technology Centre Society; NSERC Group Chair of both Earth Sciences and Interdisciplinary; and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Science Council of BC, and the International Ocean Drilling Program. His own research involves geology, paleoceanography and paleoclimatology and has been an Associate of the Earth System Evolution Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He has authored or co-authored over 150 publications and 200 conference abstracts.
Verena Tunnicliffe is Director of the Venus Project. She has worked for the past two decades in deepsea and coastal benthic systems exploring new ocean habitats and pioneering new approaches to deep ocean study. Her major tools for deep ocean work include submersibles, remote vehicles and deployed instruments. She has worked with engineering teams to develop observing techniques in the deepsea. Tunnicliffe led the first submersible expeditions to discover hydrothermal venting on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. She is also a contributor to the NEMO observatory on Axial Volcano - an array of battery-powered seafloor instruments placed offshore in the bathyal zone. Her work on geophysical controls on community evolution and adaptation is widely cited. There are currently eight animal species named after her in recognition of extensive collection and support of worldwide biodiversity studies. International recognition of her work includes requests from several countries to participate in deep ocean cruises and to review major deepsea programs and installations. She has explored deep-water British Columbia habitats providing the first views of fjord environments and the benthic faunal adaptations to physical and chemical conditions.