Oceanlab, located at Newburgh on the North Sea Coast, 20 km north of the main University campus, is a unique organisation specialising in exploration of the world's oceans using unmanned robot vehicles known as landers, ROV operated tools, and long-term undersea observatories. The Oceanlab 1 building, commissioned in 2001, contains engineering laboratories, high pressure chambers, vibration tables, immersion tanks and all facilities needed to design, build and test deep-sea systems. Landers from the University of Aberdeen have recently set the world-record for a remotely-controlled dive to 10.5km depth in the Pacific Ocean recording remarkable videos of the world's deepest living creatures.
Staff and students based at Oceanlab undertake a wide range of research participating in, and leading projects in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, Pacific Ocean as well as local work in the North Sea and the estuary of the River Ythan at Newburgh. A student from Oceanlab in 2008 announced the discovery of 6 new species of deep-sea fish from the Southern Indian Ocean. In 2011 a research scientist from Oceanlab discovered a ‘supergiant’ amphipod in waters north of New Zealand. Oceanlab has developed a world wide reputation for innovative marine research.
Oceanlab 2 was completed at the end of May 2009, opened by Richard Lochhead, MSP on 26th January 2010 and is complementary to the technical facilities housed in Oceanlab 1. It provides fully networked office space for up to 35 persons. Specialised laboratory spaces accommodate examination and sorting of preserved biological specimens (such as rare fish) and biogeochemical analyses. There is a "Marine Environment Futures" research facility with controlled environment systems capable of simulating changes in temperature and atmospheric CO2 expected over the next centuries.
The Oceanlab Business Unit links customer contracts and test requirements to the expertise and facilities, bringing onshore proving to off shore technology. Industry aware and with a strong customer focus the Unit has undertaken Certificated Testing, Laboratory, and Fieldwork contracts for many of the world’s leading manufacturers, energy providers and consultancy companies.
Oceanlab occupies the site of the former Culterty Field Station founded by Professor V.C. Wynne Edwards FRS in 1958. Located in an attractive rural environment overlooking the estuary of the River Ythan and the Forvie National Nature Reserve, this is a truly inspiring place to work.
Sunrise over Forvie