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Prem Gill

Prem Gill

PhD Candidate (NERC / WWF funded)

"Seals from Space: the study of Antarctic seals by very high-resolution (VHR) remote sensing", a joint priority project between the Scott Polar Research Institute, the British Antarctic Survey and the World Wildlife Fund.


Prem Gill is a PhD Candidate leading the "Seals from Space: the study of Antarctic pack-ice seals by remote sensing" priority project with the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).


  • 2018 - present: PhD Candidate, Scott Polar Research Institute - University of Cambridge, British Antarctic Survey and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
  • 2019: DSG Owner, the Alan Turing Institute.
  • 2018: Remote Sensing Researcher, BBC Natural History and British Antarctic Survey.
  • 2013 - 2014: Hydrographic Surveyor, Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.


  • 2017: BSc. (Honours) (first class), Earth Science: Marine Geography


Antarctic ice seals are long-lived, upper trophic level predators and amongst the largest consumers of Antarctic krill. The monitoring of Antarctic ice seal populations can indicate changes in the Antarctic ecosystem's status and health. However, Antarctic seals inhabit the dynamic and inaccessible sea ice zone, making traditional survey methods (e.g. by boat and plane) logistically difficult. As a result of these challenges, reliable population estimates and habitat information for ice seals are critically lacking. To overcome the limitations of traditional surveys, Prem's research looks into the use of very high-resolution (VHR) satellite and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery to study Antarctic ice seals. The overall aim is to develop a novel and reliable computer vision model that utilises VHR satellite and UAV imagery for dynamic conservation management and planning at regional scales.

External activities


  • "Exploitation to conservation: the cultural and ecological significance of past, present and future interactions between man and seal within Antarctica" – An awareness-raising, WWF and FCO funded, Public Engagement project to mark the 200th Anniversary of the discovery of the South Shetland Islands. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Polar Regions Department and WWF.
  • Radical Reading Group, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (member)
  • British Ecological Society (Member)
  • Cambridge Group for Earth Observation (Member)
  • BAS Artificial Intelligence Lab (Member)
  • Polar Impact: Ethnic Minorities in Polar Science (Founder)
  • Early Career Research Diversity Champion, British Antarctic Survey
  • Diversity in Antarctic Science Initiative - steering committee member, Foreign and Commonwealth Office / British Antarctic Survey.