Thom Linley at sea again
Thom Linley is at sea once again onboard the RV Pelagia with the CoralFISH Biogenic Reef Ichthyofauna Lander (BRIL). A daily diary is being posted on the NIOZ web site. The images of the fish you can see that were taken by BRIL are deep sea rattails: Chalinura mediterranea. Click here to follow the Diary
New arrivals at Oceanlab
Will studied zoology at the University of Aberdeen as an undergraduate, and worked on bioturbation in the Ythan estuary for the Honours year project, under the supervision of Dr Martin Solan. He has now joined Oceanlab to continue working on sediment ecology, specifically, the ecological interactions between benthic fauna and microbial communities. The title of his PhD is, “Effects of biogenic mixing and invertebrate-microbial interactions on ecosystem processes in marine sediments”
Margarita joined Oceanlab in October 2009 as a PhD student. she will be working on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of deep-sea benthos under the supervision of Prof. U. Witte.
Margarita's research interests are centred around the marine benthic ecosystem and in particular the processes which maintain community integrity.
Fiona has recently completed a Masters degree at Queen Mary, University of London and is now working at Oceanlab towards a PhD in functional ecology in soft benthos supervised by Dr Martin Solan.
Dan Mayor appointed to the editorial board of Ocean Challenge
Dan Mayor has been appointed to the editorial board of Ocean Challenge, the biannual publication of the Challenger Society for Marine Science, UK. The Challenger Society is concerned with advancing the study of the marine environment, particularly with regards to supporting young scientists and promoting the dissemination of information to a broader audience. More details can be found at: http://challenger.bangor.ac.uk/
Thomas Linley from Oceanlab took part in the Pelagia CoralFISH/HERMIONE cruise during October and November aboard the NIOZ vessel; The RV Pelagia. Thom successfully deployed Aberdeen’s CoralFISH lander, which has been specifically built for this project, for the first time. The lander was then deployed a further 4 times at various locations. Luckily everything went to plan and the lander worked perfectly, capturing over 6,000 images of the seabed along with environmental data such as current speeds, salinity and depth.
Now this it has proven itself, the lander has been given a name;
BRIL: Biogenic Reef Ichthyofauna Lander
The cruise was focusing on Ireland’s newly discovered coral reef, specifically the coral topped Galway and Therese seamounts (undersea mountains). The open seabed between these outcrops and the coral-less Poseidon mount provided the controls allowing abundances and species composition to be compared between coral and non-coral habitats. You can read the daily blog that was posted on the NIOZ website.
BRIL generated some beautiful images of both the reef itself and the life associated with it. This data will feed into the CoralFISH project (http://www.eu-fp7-coralfish.net/) and through greater understanding hopefully lead to greater protection for these habitats in the future.
Monkfish (Lophius piscatorius)
Bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus)
All the images from each deployment have been converted into movies which you can see below. Each movie runs for approx 2 minutes.
CoralFISH BoBGeo Cruise
Owen McPherson took part in the CoralFISH BobGeo cruise to study the Geology of the Bay of Biscay onboard the R/V Pourquoi pas? from 13th-28th October. While onboard Owen related his experiences in a daily blog as part of the CoralFISH Project’s Work Package 9 – Dissemination and Outreach. (See last months news).
Congratulations to Lorna Teal who passed her Ph.D. viva with minor corrections. The title of the thesis was "The influence of infaunal bioturbation on ecosystem processes in the sediment mixed layer". Thank you to Lorna's supervisors, Dr Martin Solan and Dr. Ruth Parker (CEFAS Lowestoft), her internal examiner, Dr. Alex Douglas, and to her external examiner, Dr. Steve Widdicombe from Plymouth Marine Laboratory.
Congratulations also go to Tomasz who successfully defended his second Ph.D. dissertation in Earth sciences (physical geography) in December 2009 at the Faculty of Earth Science and Environmental Management, University of Wroclaw, Poland.
Ambassador Award to Martin Solan
Martin Solan attended The Aberdeen Convention Bureau (ACB) Ambassador Awards and dinner, hosted by Lord Provost Peter Stephen in the Town House, Aberdeen City on 25th November and received an award for bringing the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity to Aberdeen City in 2011. Read article about the event in the Press and Journal newspaper.
Experimental stage comes to an end
Natalie Hicks and Mark Bulling complete the final experiments for the NERC standard research grant, Marine biodiversity-ecosystem processes under uncertain environmental futures.
A group from the ‘Mudclub’ presented a series of papers at the 2nd DIVERSITAS Open Science Conference "Biodiversity and society: understanding connections, adapting to change" 13-16 Oct., Cape Town, South Africa. Jasmin Godbold presented a oral presentation and Natalie Hicks, Mark Bulling and Martin Solan presented poster presentations.
Martin Solan edits theme section in Marine Ecology Progress Series entitled "Marine biodiversity: curent understanding and future research". The themed section is available for free via open access from the Marine Ecology Progress Series website.
Martin Solan attended the Census of Marine Life Scientific Steering Meeting, Monaco, France.
Martin Solan will be hosting the second workshop in the NERC Centre for Population Biology workshop series entitled “Consequences of environmentally forced extinction and ecological revolutions for ecosystem function” at Silwood Park, Imperial College London.
Jasmin Godbold and Martin Solan attended the ESRC Coastal Wetland Ecosystem Services workshop entitled ‘Governance and Ecosystem Services’, University of York, UK.
Jasmin Godbold organised and acted as session chair for the Theme Session "Effects of Ocean acidification" at the Annual British Ecological Society Meeting, 8th – 10th September, University of Hertfordshire. Natalie Hicks presented her Ph.D. work on the effects of future climate scanrios on primary production in coastal marine ecosystems. Papers from this session are now been considered for a theme section in Oikos.
‘Mudclub’ papers recently published:
Bulling, M.T., Hicks, N., Murray, L., Paterson, D.M., Raffaelli, D., White, P.C.L., Solan, M. (in press) Marine biodiversity-ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures. Phil. Trans. R. Soc.
Godbold, J.A., Solan, M. (2009) Relative importance of biodiversity and the environment in mediating ecosystem process. Marine Ecology Progress Series 396:273-282.
Godbold, J.A., Solan, M. (2009) Relative importance of biodiversity and the environment in mediating ecosystem process. Marine Ecology Progress Series. Publication December 10th, 2009.
Godbold, J.A., Rosenberg, R., Solan, M. (2009) Species-specific traits rather than resource partitioning mediate diversity effects on resource use. PLoS ONE 4(10): e7423.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007423
Teal, L.R., Parker, E.R., Fones, G., Solan, M. (2009) Simultaneous determination of in situ vertical transitions of colour, porewater metals and visualisation of infaunal activity in marine sediments. Limnology and Oceanography 54(5): 1801-1810.
And three chapters contributed to the recently published Naeem et al. book on Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning:
Solan, M., Godbold, J.A., Symstad, A., Flynn, D.F.B., Bunker, D. (2009) Biodiversity-ecosystem function research and biodiversity futures: early bird catches the worm or a day late and a dollar short?. In: Biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and human wellbeing: an ecological and economic perspective. Naeem, S., Bunker, D.E., Hector, A., Loreau, M., Perrings, C. (Eds.). Oxford University Press. pp. 30-45.
Duffy, J.E., Srivastava, D.S., McLaren, J., Sankaran, M., Solan, M., Griffin, J., Emmerson, M., Jones, K.E. (2009) Forecasting decline in ecosystem services under realistic scenarios of extinction. In: Biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and human wellbeing: an ecological and economic perspective. Naeem, S., Bunker, D.E., Hector, A., Loreau, M., Perrings, C. (Eds.). Oxford University Press. pp. 60-77.
Schmid, B., Balvanera, P., Cardinale, B.J., Godbold, J.A., Pfisterer, A.B., Raffaelli, D., Solan, M., Srivastava, D.S. (2009) Consequences of species loss for ecosystem functioning: meta-analyses of data from biodiversity experiments. In: Biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and human wellbeing: an ecological and economic perspective. Naeem, S., Bunker, D.E., Hector, A., Loreau, M., Perrings, C. (Eds.). Oxford University Press. pp. 14-29.
Return to the Abyss
The last two or three months have been a very busy time for Oceanlab, with many people at sea on one research cruise or another and not least the the move into our new facility Oceanlab 2. A full news update will follow within the next week or two.
However, one event that is worth a mention now are the latest ventures of Dr Alan Jamieson and Dr Toyo Fuji as they as they, once again the return to the Abyss. You can read Alan's daily blog on NERC's Planet Earth Online web site and the BBCs News Page.
Following the Conference Owen McPherson will be joining BobGeo cruise (looking at the Geology of the Bay of Biscay) which will take place onboard the R/V Pourquoi pas? from 13th-18th October where he will acting as Outreach Officer for the Project and posting a daily blog of his experiences along with some photographs and video clips. These will be hosted on the CoralFISH Blog page.
As Owen is also responsible for these news updates a full update of what has been happening here at Oceanlab will be posted on his return.
From the 5th to 7th October Dr Lee Hastie will attend the 2nd All Regions ESONET workshop at CNRS, Paris, where he will give a short presentation on environmental observatories around the KM3Net infrastructure. The KM3Net neutrino telescope project, which OceanLab have been involved in, is designed to be multi-disciplinary, in order to secure European funding.
A group of scientists from Oceanlab are currently taking part in the ECOMAR JC037 Cruise. You can follow the daily happenings and what they will be doing via a ship-to-shore cruise diary at http://ecomar.wordpress.com/
This year they are also trying out “Twitter” and have already started posting updates. You can view the Twitter site at http://twitter.com/ECOMAR_JC037 and sign up to follow their progress, thoughts and musings on the 6-week research cruise!
Current Research Cruises
Dr Alan Jamieson and Phd Student William Hunter have departed on the James Cook Hermione cruise.
Jessica Craig (NERC PhD student) is currently aboard the RS Sarmiento de Gamboa making pelagic bioluminescence measurments across the Mediterranean Sea, from Spain to Crete, in collaboration with the BIOFUN project.
Jessica prepares the ICDeep lander for its next deployment
The BIOFUN team gather for a group photograph. Click here for a larger image
Oceanlab 2 Completion
On the 11 of June the building contractors handed over control of the new Oceanlab 2 building to the University and the staff were moved into their new location. The official opening is due to take place later this year in September/October, but it has yet to be decided who will come and perform the opening ceremony.
The new Coffee Room
Staff check out the Open Plan area
The Temperature Control Rooms
While there will no longer be any updates on the progress of the building, the web cam which followed the various stages of the build has now been relocated to show the view over the Ythan Estuary towards the Fovern Nature Reserve that can bee seen from the new coffee room.
Congratulations to Dan Mayor and Toyonobu Fujii
Dr Daniel Mayor has recently been awarded a NERC postdoctoral fellowship: "Investigating how environmental change affects benthic biogeochemistry". He will be examining how envrionmentally-driven changes in primary producers affect the fate of carbon and nitrogen in a range of marine sediments.
Dr Toyonobu Fujii is extremely excited about his new appointment for the BP fellowship which starts from 1 August 2009. Through this project, he intends to elucidate patterns of variability in marine populations observed at offshore oil platforms and surrounding natural habitats in order to aid providing a generic set of predictions regarding the ecological impacts of different decommissioning alternatives.
New Arrivals at Oceanlab
Dr Lee Hastie
Dr. Lee Hastie has joined Oceanlab to work as a research fellow on the ESONET and EuroSITES deep-sea projects, having recently worked as a teaching fellow at Aberdeen (SBS), lecturing on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and coordinating the 2nd year Ocean Biology course. Lee has previously worked in a number of fields in marine and freshwater ecology, including aquaculture, fisheries biology, aquatic conservation and ecology, cephalopods, deep-water crustacea and freshwater bivalves (mostly at Aberdeen but also in North America and the Indo-Pacific region) and has written and co-written a number of scientific papers on these topics. He has participated in several inter-governmental ICES fishery and LBAP conservation working/study groups and is a member of the university senate.
Lee already has a number of connections with Oceanlab/Culterty. He completed a PhD on the conservation and ecology of freshwater pearl mussels at the old field station, supervised by Dr. Mark Young, and more recently has been involved in teaching an MSc module on marine ecosystems at Oceanlab. “I have mixed feelings about this place – I am sorry to see the old field station, with all its history go, but I look forward to the exciting new developments taking place and working with a new team of scientists.”
Dr Tomasz Niedzielski
Dr Tomasz Niedzielski is a specialist in geodesy and cartography and applied mathematics. In 2004, Tomasz completed his M.Sc. degree in mathematics (probability theory and statistics) at the University of Wroclaw, Poland. In 2004, he has also studied at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He completed his second M.Sc. diploma in geography (cartography) in 2006 at the University of Wroclaw. In 2004, he was concurrently offered two Ph.D. positions at the Space Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland and at the Institute of Geography and Regional Development, University of Wroclaw, Poland.
Tomasz defended his first Ph.D. thesis in satellite geodesy at the Faculty of Geodesy and Cartography, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland in 2008. His second Ph.D. dissertation in physical geography is now under review.
Since gaining his first PhD, Tomasz worked as a research assistant at both University of Wroclaw and Polish Academy of Sciences where he was awarded several domestic and international scientific awards and grants.
In June 2009, Tomasz Niedzielski joined Oceanlab as a research fellow at the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom. His current post-doc position is related to GIS deep-sea research and is supported by EU EuroSITES project.
Spring time at Oceanlab. - Monty Priede
The warm sunny weather in May this year has brought forward spectacular meadows of bluebells around our ponds. A walk through them is a great antidote to struggling with research proposals, writing papers and debugging instrumentation systems.
Oceanlab 2 nears completion
The building of Oceanlab 2 is now almost complete and it is hoped that staff can move in at the start of June. Click here for the latest set of images from inside the building.
New Closing date 05-June-2009 for the post of Research Fellow - BP Exploration is funding this Fellowship to study the relationship between fisheries and sea floor structures with reference to decommissioning of man-made offshore structures. The research fellow will have academic freedom to carry out fundamental studies on spatial relationships of fish populations to sea floor features and will be encouraged to publish in the highest quality peer-reviewed journals. A research proposal is requested in support of your application.
World Conference on Marine Biodiversity
Martin Solan announces that Aberdeen has been chosen to host the "World Conference on Marine Biodiversity" in 2011. The previous conference was held in Valencia last year (http://www.marbef.org/worldconference/).
The conference will be co-chaired by Martin and Prof. David Paterson from St. Andrews and will take place 26-30th September, 2011.
An official announcement will be made in due course once the plenaries and other details have been finalised.
May Publication - William Hunter
Hunter, W. R., and Sayer, M. D. J. (2009). The comparative effects of habitat complexity on faunal assemblages of northern temperate artificial and natural reefs. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 66 (4), 691-698
Between June 2005 and June 2006 William carried out a study examining the potential role of artificial reefs in fisheries management.
The study, published in the May edition of ICES Journal of Marine Science was conducted during a student placement at the NERC National Facility for Scientiific Diving, hosted at SAMS. Additional funding was provided by the Project AWARE Foundation, the British Sub-Aqua Jubilee Trust and the Educational Support Fund of the Society for Underwater Technology. The study showed that the complex habitat provided by a well-designed artificial reef could support higher diversity and numbers of fish and invertebrates than either natural or simple artificial reefs in temperate seas.
What lurks in the depths of the oceans?
On Tuesday May 12th, the HADEEP project gained further publicity in the British press. The Daily Telegraph ran a story on line entitled ‘What lurks in the depths of the oceans?’ by Sanjida O’Connell. The article describes some of the most recent findings of strange deep-sea creatures including the endemic liparids the Oceanlab team found in Japan last year. Read the article at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/5309790/What-lurks-in-the-depths-of-the-ocean.html On the back of that article, Alan Jamieson was interviewed at BBC Scotland for the Science Café program on BBC Radio Wales presented by Adam Walton. The interview was also about the recent work on the Worlds deep trenches and the animals the team found. The interview was broadcasted on Sunday 17th at 5pm.
Bioluminescence in the Eastern Med
1-11 May: PhD student Jessica Craig joined the Greek RV Aegaeo for the KM3NeT/May 09 cruise in the Ionian Sea. She deployed the ICDeep camera to obtain comparative bioluminescence measurements at the NESTOR and NEMO neutrino telescope sites.
Monty Priede and Jasmin Godbold attended the ICES International Symposium. “Issues confronting the Deep Oceans: the Economic, Scientific and Governance Challenges and Opportunities of Working in the Deep Sea”. 27-30 April 2009.
The conference was held in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean at Horta, the capital of the island of Faial in the Azores.
Jasmin presented new work analysing the impacts of deep sea fisheries:
Jasmin Godbold, John Gordon, David M. Bailey, Martin A. Collins and Imants G.
Priede: Changes in the Deep-Sea Demersal Fish stocks of the Porcupine Seabight (NE Atlantic).
And Monty presented two talks:
Imants (Monty) G. Priede
Studies on Deep Sea Benthic Fishes using Baited Camera Landers: New Insights 500-10,000m depth.
Imants G. Priede, Nicola King, Mark Inall, A. Rus Hoelzel, Andrew S. Brierley, David S.M. Billett and Peter Miller : Ecosystems of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge – The ECOMAR project.
The Island ambience and views of traffic trans-Ocean super-yachts tying up in Horta harbour added to enjoyment of an excellent conference.
Dawn over Pico island, Azores viewed from Horta.
Oceanlab staff featured in The British Ecological Society's March Bulletin
The British Ecological Society is undergoing a process of actively enhancing its marine research profile. Martin Solan reports that they are using only the highest grade research as examples to highlight marine ecology and they will be making extra effort at this years BES annual meeting. The first significant feature of the marine science in the 2009 March Bulletin includes three articles (Alan Jamieson, Jasmin Godbold and Dan Mayor) highlighting work at Oceanlab, which is a great accolade and will be circulated internationally.
Registration of Oceanlab
The Oceanlab name and Logo has been succesfully registered as a European Community Trade Mark (Application No. 007108384). We are delighted to have this recognition and protection of our name and artwork".
Phil Bagley has just returned from Angola having successfully installed the DELOS (Deep ocean Environmental Long-term Observatory System) in the Atlantic Ocean in 1400m water depth. The DELOS aims to monitor life on the ocean floor for 25 years.
Video of the Camera Module being located in the Far Field platform (3.5 minute duration)
World demand and technological advances have prompted the hydrocarbon industry to extend into deeper waters where little is known about environmental impacts on marine animals.
The DELOS consists of 2 platforms. One has been sited near field – within 50 metres of a wellhead - and the other 16 km from any offshore activity. The platforms will provide scientists with insights into any impact of offshore activities, contribute to an increased understanding of the mechanisms linking climate change to deep-ocean ecology, and provide a long term source of data for deep ocean scientific research.
DELOS will produce its first data after 6 months when the instruments are briefly returned to the surface for data offload and battery recharge. Full details of the DELOS system can be found at www.delos-project.org
DELOS is a collaboration involving BP; the University of Aberdeen's Oceanlab; National Oceanographic Centre in Southampton; University of Glasgow; Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California; Texas A&M University and the Angolan National Institute of Fisheries Research (Instituto Nacional de Investigação Pesqueira - INIP). The DELOS was funded by BP and installed from the Field Support Vessel Bourbon Oceanteam 101 by Subsea 7. Oceanlab designed the concept (approved by the scientific steering committee) and supplied all of the instrumentation.
Night-time deployment of one of the DELOS platforms
Releasing the sediment trap.
Top of the platform
9th March 2009
PhD student Jessica Craig took part in the Darwin Roadshow, giving a talk on ‘Deep-Sea Bioluminescence & Adaptations’ to S1&2 students at Westhill Academy, Aberdeenshire. The event formed part of the National Science and Engineering Week and was staged by the University of Aberdeen Natural History Centre to inspire students about science and see it as a subject they would consider studying in their future school careers.
HERMES Final meeting. Carvoeiro, Portugal. 2-6 March 20-09.
This meeting marked the end of three years work on this major EU project. Hotspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas. http://www.eu-hermes.net/
Monty Priede, Jessica Craig, Jasmin Godbold, Evina Gontikaki, Leigh Murray and Nikki King represented Oceanlab at the meeting attended by 120 scientists from all over Europe.
The project has been very important to Oceanlab and we have contributed in three main areas.
Nikki King has described the Scavenging fishes in the Nazare Canyon off Portugal.
Evina Gontikaki presented a paper entitled: Deep-sea benthic community reposinse to a simulated sedimentation event in the southern Cretan Margin. (Eastern Mediterranean). By Gontikaki E. Poymenakou P.N., Tselepides A., Narayanswamy B.E., and Witte U.,
Amy Heger had solved the mystery of the origin of light displays around cold water deep sea corals in the NE Atlantic, and Jessica Craig presented an update on this and her own work in the Mediterranean Sea: "Deep sea Bioluminescence: Benthic Hotspots v Pelagic Drivers by Craig J., Jamieson A., Heger A., Hutson R., & Priede I.G.,
Fisheries and Human Impacts on open slopes
Monty Priede presented the latest conclusions from a 25 year study on effects on deep sea fishing west of Ireland published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. (See press release 10 March 2009).
We still have more work to do on samples collected during HERMES and look forward to participating in the successor project, HERMIONE.
HERMES papers from Oceanlab:
Bailey D.M., Collins M.A., Gordon J.D.M., Zuur A.F., Priede I.G. (2009) . Long-term changes in deep-water fish populations in the North East Atlantic: deeper-reaching effect of fisheries? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B.
Heger A., King N., Wigham B.D., Jamieson A.J., Bagley P.M., Allan L., Pfannkuche O., Priede I.G. (2007) Benthic Bioluminescence in the bathyal North East Atlantic: Luminescent responses of Vargula norvegica (Ostracoda: Myodocopida) to predation by the deep water eel (Synaphobranchus kaupii). Marine Biology 151 (4): 1471-1478 DOI;10.1007/s00227-006-0587-7
King, N. J., Jamieson, A.J., Bagley P.M., & Priede I.G. (2008). Deep-sea scavenging demersal fish fauna of the Nazaré Canyon system Iberian Coast northeast Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology. 72, 1804–1814. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2008.01834.x
Oceanlab have published the results of “Demersal Deep Sea Fishes of the Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic Ocean”, in an illustrated fold-out brochure format. The brochure, designed by Leigh Murray, highlights the sampling areas and methods, with a fully illustrated fish graph of 108 fish species, along with their minimum and maximum depth range, with scavenging species highlighted. Anyone interested can get a free copy, please Email Fiona Barr.
The brochures were very well received at the final HERMES project conference in Portugal – 01.03.09 – 06.03.09.
Authors: Monty Priede; Jasmin Godbold; Nicola King; Martin Collins; David Bailey; John Gordon and Leigh Murray.
New arrival at Oceanlab
Tom Linely joined the Oceanlab staff at the beginning of March, 2009 as a Research Assistant on the Coral Fish Project.
Tom was born in the West Midlands just outside Birmingham. He always wanted to be a marine biologist for as long as he can remember and worked in the local aquarium while in collage, he even got a little article printed in Practical Fishkeeping magazine.
Tom did his undergraduate studies at Aberystwyth in Marine and Freshwater Biology and then his Masters at Bangor in Marine Biology. Following that he worked in the New York aquarium for a while mainly teaching inner city school kids.
Before coming to Oceanlab Tom's main job was as a Senior Field Environmental Scientist with Gardline Environmental. A very diverse job that had him doing everything from whale watching to driving cranes. It was while project managing a job with the ROBIO lander that he became aware of Oceanlab and decided to apply for the position, it was always his hope to get back into academia and research.
Tom's hobbies include climbing, SCUBA diving and general fitness training. He also loves riding his rusted old motorcycle when important parts haven't fallen off it.
Bioluminescence in a canyon
17-21 February: NERC PhD student Jessica Craig took part in the PROMETEO 2.1 cruise on board the Spanish RV Garcia del Cid. The PROMETEO project is carrying out multidisciplinary research in the deep canyons and slopes of the north-western Mediterranean Sea. Jessica deployed the ICDeep camera to obtain bioluminescence profiles along and across the Blanes Canyon. Repeat transects are planned for later in the year.
Preparing the ICDeep on board the
RV Garcia del Cid
ICDeep mounted on the CTD frame of the
RV Garcia del Cid
Monitoring of the Ythan estuary
In collaboration with The Marine Laboratory(Aberdeen) which is a division of Fisheries Research Services, a data logger was deployed on a bouy in the estuary in December 2004. The data logger records the water temperature every 30 minutes and is changed every 3 - 6 months. This has provided a set of continuous data which can be seen on our Ythan pages.
In February 2009 SEPA entered the collaboration and have now also deployed a “YSI 6600 V2” on the buoy. It is set up to record; temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, depth, dissolved oxygen (% saturation and mg/l), total dissolved solids and also turbidity. It takes one sample every 30 minutes, storing the data internally. The purpose of this kind of instrument is to give us an overview of water quality at all points in the tidal cycle. We can reference each parameter to the tidal state by using the salinity measurements to give us a bearing of the amount of seawater coming with the tide that mixes with the freshwater input in the estuary. Each parameter is referenced to physical samples wherever possible to give confidence that the instrument calibration is satisfactory.
Right Top. The YSI in position inside the buoy.
Right Bottom. The location of the buoy with Oceanlabs in the background.
Deep-sea fish stocks threatened
Commercial fishing in the north-east Atlantic could be harming deep-sea fish populations a kilometre below the deepest reach of fishing trawlers, according to a 25-year study published on Wednesday 11 March, 2009.
“Marine Protected Areas need to be much bigger than the existing coral-protecting MPAs. They are not very effective for mobile fish species unless the fishing effort itself is reduced,” said Professor Priede.
Read the full NERC Press release.
February / March Publications / Conferences
Mayor DJ, Anderson TR, Pond DW & Irigoien X (In press). Egg production and associated losses of carbon, nitrogen and fatty acids from maternal biomass in Calanus finmarchicus before the spring bloom. Journal of Marine Systems. doi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2008.12.019
Mayor DJ, Anderson TR, Pond DW & Irigoien X (In press). Limitation of egg production in Calanus finmarchicus in the field: a stoichiometric analysis. Journal of Marine Systems. doi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2008.12.020
Dan has also produced a plankton 'wiki' for MARBEF, which can be found at: http://www.marbef.org/wiki/Marine_Plankton
British Ecological Society Annual Meeting
Jasmin Godbold, Martin Solan and Steve Widdicombe (Plymouth Marine Laboratory) are chairing a session on "The effects of Ocean Acidification" at the British Ecological Society Annual Meeting (8th - 10th September, University of Hertfordshire).
The call for abstracts to the session is now open.
Oceanlab in the Pacific
From the 18th of February till the 5th of March, Markus Moeseneder and John Polanski were at MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute). During their time there they took part in the Pulse 54 research cruise aboard the RV Western Flyer. The Flyer was equipped with a new ROV, the Doc Ricketts, which was making it’s first research dive. The team from Oceanlab were using the ROV to deploy “spreader” experiments on the seabed at close to 4000m for benthic biogeochemistry research.
The image on the right shows the “elevator” loaded with the spreader experiments for deployment by the ROV. The elevator is a free fall lander used for transportation of equipment to the sea floor.
On 18-19 February 2009 a team from the Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo visited Oceanlab for workshop to discuss the progress of the HADEEP project. The achievements of the last year were reviewed together with plans for further joint work funded by NERC and the Nippon Foundation. The visitors also looked in on an Honours degree class in Hadal Biology being taught by Dr Nicola King.
(L. to R.) Prof. Hidekazu Tokuyama (ORI, Tokyo), Dr. Hirofumi Asahi (ORI, Tokyo), Dr Toyonobu Fujii (Oceanlab, Aberdeen), Dr. Kumiko Kita-Tsukamoto (ORI, Tokyo), Prof. Monty Priede (Oceanlab, Aberdeen), Dr Martin Solan (Oceanlab, Aberdeen), Dr Stuart Piertney (IBES Aberdeen) and Dr Alan Jamieson (Oceanlab, Aberdeen)
New year greetings
January sees the start of another busy year for Oceanlab. We have a full programme of research cruises this year, with at least one cruise taking place each month on top of which there are also major research projects continuing here within the Oceanlab controlled environmental facilities and on the Ythan estuary.
Oceanlab would like to extend there best wishes for the coming year to all our colleagues, business customers and friends around the world.
DELOS - The final leg of the journey
Phil Bagley departed for Angola on the 12 January to assist in the deployment of the DELOS platforms off the Atlantic coast of Angola to begin monitoring the deep ocean environment within the vicinity of BP offshore operations off Angola for 20 years
The 'Mudclub' in the news again
Martin Solan, Mark Bulling and Jasmin Godbold attend ESRC Coastal Wetland Ecosystem Services seminar series, University of York.
Martin Solan has been awarded NERC Centre for Population Biology workshop series entitled “Consequences of environmentally forced extinction and ecological revolutions for ecosystem function” (Solan et al., 12 core members, international team from USA, Canada, Europe and UK) to be held at Silwood Park, Imperial College London over the next 24 months.
Satellite Tracking of a Basking Shark. New Insights from archived data.
Monty Priede re-analyses archived data.
A new era in marine science began at 1000h on 27 June 1982 when Monty Priede threw a harpoon into the back of basking shark off the West Coast of Scotland and implanted the first successful satellite tag on a fish. This fish swam into the history books as its movements were tracked for the following 17 days until the transmitter broke loose on 14 July. At the time we were very excited about our achievement which was the culmination of 3 years of effort funded by NERC working closely with the new ARGOS satellite tracking system.
Since then, satellite tracking has become a routine method for studying movements of animals throughout the world’s oceans and the pioneering track of the first fish was almost forgotten about until Monty Priede had a discussion with Peter Miller of the remote sensing group at the Plymouth about new methods for detecting fronts in the sea from satellite images. In the early fish tracking work we were so paranoid about getting a signal up to the satellite that we used high-quality powerful transmitters that gave locations on every on every orbit (ca. every 90 minutes) something that modern light-weight equipment rarely achieves. On 6 July 1982 the shark had spent all day swimming near the surface, probably feeding, on a nice sunny day (hence the name basking shark). Peter Miller was able to retrieve AVHRR sea surface temperature data for the 1429h orbit for that day from the NERC archive (Fig. 1). Applying new composite front mapping a previously invisible line in the ocean was revealed demarking the boundary between warm and cold water where plankton tends to concentrate (Fig. 2). The shark first hit this line at 0616h, turned left and followed a track parallel to the front throughout the rest of the day . This new analysis is published in Fisheries Research. It shows the power of archived data that can be analysed in new ways applying 21st Century methods to 20th Century data.
Figure 1. Sea surface temperature -6th July 1982
Figure 2. The composite front mapping. The red line indicates track of shark
The basking shark Cetorhinus maximus is the largest fish found in waters around the British isles and is the second largest fish in the world after the whale shark. It grows to a length of 12m and feeds on zooplankton caught on rakers mounted on the gills.
Priede I.G. & Miller P.I. (2009) A basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) tracked by satellite together with simultaneous remote sensing II: new analysis reveals orientation to a thermal front. Fisheries Research 5, 370–372
Priede I.G. (1984) A basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) tracked by satellite together with simultaneous remote sensing. Fisheries Research 2: 201-216.
HADEEP exhibits at the National Science Museum
Whilst still revelling in the publicity surrounding the deepest fish caught on film, the HADEEP team were invited to exhibit this work at the National Science Museum, London. Drs Alan Jamieson and Toyonobu Fujii took time out their hectic Christmas holidays to show off their findings and talk to the public on the 29th and 30th of December. The exhibit, which included and an entire deep-sea lander, was held in the Antenna area of the Museum. Members of the public, particularly children, were invited to come and chat informally to the pair and they did so in great numbers. For those less chatty the videos were displayed on a giant video wall. Overall we felt the exhibit was a great success and Oceanlab would like to thank the Nation Science Museum for the invitation, their help on the day and in particular Holly Cave for organising the event.
HADEEP at the MUSEUM: The deep-sea lander displayed in front of the video wall at the Antenna area of the National Science Museum – 29-30th December 2008
Jamieson, A.J., Fujii, T., Solan, M., Matsumoto, A.K., Bagley, P.M. & Priede, I.G. (In Press) Liparid and macrourid fishes of the hadal zone; in situ observations of activity and feeding behaviour. Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Jamieson, A.J., Fujii, T., Solan, M., Matsumoto, A.K., Bagley, P.M. & Priede, I.G. (In Press) First findings of decapod crustacea in the hadal zone. Deep-Sea Research 1
Dan Mayor and colleagues have had the following 2 papers published
Mayor DJ, Solan M, McMillan H, Killham K & Paton GI (In press). Effects of copper and the sea lice treatment Slice® on nutrient release from marine sediments. Marine Pollution Bulletin doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.11.015
Mayor DJ, Solan M, Martinez I, Murray L, McMillan H, Killham K & Paton GI (2008). Acute toxicity of UK-registered sea lice treatments to Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor: whole sediment bioassay tests. Aquaculture 285: 102-108. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2008.08.008
Jasmin Godbold, et al. paper out in Oikos
Godbold, J.A., Solan., M., Killham, K.S. (2009) Consumer species richness and identity effects on marine macroalgal decomposition. Oikos 118: 77-86.
8 December 2008
The World Biodiversity conference in Valencia, Spain (11th-15th November)
The 'Mudclub team' attended the World Biodiversity conference in Valencia, Spain (11th-15th November), where Martin Solan, chaired a session entitled "Coastal marine benthic biodiversity and ecosystem process under uncertain environmental futures" and the following presentations were made:
- Mark Bulling, oral presentation entitled "Marine biodiversity-ecosystem processes under uncertain environmental futures".
- Jasmin Godbold, oral presentation entitled "Effects of biodiversity and habitat structure on benthic ecosystem properties".
- Lorna Teal, poster presentation entitled "From pattern to process: mapping sediment function".
- Natalie Hicks, poster presentation entitled "Microphytobenthic production in present and future CO2 climates".
- Leigh Murray, poster presentation entitled "Interactive effects of biodiversity, copper and a chemotherapeutant on marine benthic function".
The 'Mudclub', L. to R. Lorna Teal, Martin Solan, Mark Bulling, Natalie Hicks, Jasmin Godbold
and Leigh Murray.
The following new Mudclub papers are now available online:
Mayor, D.J., Solan, M., McMillan, H., Killham, K., Paton, G.I. (2008) Effects of copper and the sea lice treatment Slice® on nutrient cycling in marine sediments. Marine Pollution Bulletin.
Godbold, J.A., Solan., M., Killham, K.S. (2008) Consumer species richness and identity effects on marine macroalgal decomposition. Oikos.
Mayor, D.J., Solan, M., Martinez, I., Murray, L., McMillan, H., Paton, G.I., Killham, K. (2008) Acute toxicity of some treatments commonly used by the salmonid aquaculture industry to Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor: whole sediment bioassay tests. Aquaculture 285: 102-108.
Bulling, M.T., Solan, M., Dyson, K.E., Hernandez-Millian, G., Lastra, P., Pierce, G.J., Raffaelli, D.G., Paterson, D.M., White, P.C.L. (2008) Species effects on ecosystem processes are modified by faunal responses to habitat quality. Oecologia 158:511-520.
Jasmin Godbold passes her Ph.D. viva, entitled "Marine benthic biodiversity-ecosystem function relations in complex systems"
Congratulations to Eva-Maria Zetsche who has been selected to receive a student travel award to attend the ASLO 2009 Aquatic Sciences Meeting this coming January in Nice, France, in the amount of $250 USD. Eva-Maria will present a paper entitled "Effects of temporal variation in permeability on the metabolism of sandy estuarine sediments."
CoralFISH will assess the interaction between corals, fish and fisheries, in order to develop monitoring and predictive modelling tools for ecosystem based management in the deep waters ofEurope and beyond. Oceanlab's Nikki King is responsible for developing tools for Work Package 9 which is titled "Ecosystem management: education, dissemination and outreach".
11 November 2008
MARBEF World Conference on Marine Biodiversity
A group from Oceanlab (The Mudclub) are going to the MARBEF World Conference on Marine Biodiversity in Valencia (Spain) next week (10th - 15th November). Martin Solan is chairing the session on "Coastal marine biodiversity and ecosystem process under uncertain environmental futures" together with, Prof. Dave Paterson (St. Andrews), Prof. Dave Raffaelli and Dr. Piran White (both from York).
Jasmin Godbold is presenting a talk on "Effects of biodiversity and habitat structure on benthic ecosystem properties", while
Lorna Teal presented a poster entitled "From pattern to process: Mapping sediment function" and Natalie Hicks also presented a poster which was entitled "Microphytobenthos production in present and future CO_2 climates".
Congratulations to Alan Jamieson who now joins the professional engineering team at Oceanlab with a permanent position. He will work with Phil Bagley and Stuart Chalmers supporting the scientific work of Oceanlab.
Alan gained his PhD in 2004 for his thesis entitled "Autonomous Lander Technology for Biological Rsearch at Mid-Water, Abyssal and Hadal Depths". In this thesis he first showed that it is theoretically possible to build a hadal lander, which he has since very successfully implemented under the HADEEP project.
Friday 31 October.
The Deep- Sea fish group of the EU HERMES (Hotspot Ecosystems Research on the Margins of European Seas) project met to progress the final stage of analysis of four decades of trawl data from the continental slopes, rise and plains of the Porcupine Seabight and Abyssal Plain of the North East Atlantic Ocean. Evidence for long term change in this area and the potential impacts of fisheries was discussed.
Left to Right: Nikki King, David Bailey, Jasmin Godbold, Monty Priede, Martin Collins, John Gordon, Alain Zuur.
Bioluminescence at NESTOR
22-27 October. NERC student Jessica Craig joined the Greek RV Aegeao to deploy the new super-sensitive ICDEEP camera system, built by Phil Bagley and John Polanski, in the East Ionian Sea. As a contribution to the KM3NeT project she made bioluminescence measurements at the NESTOR site for the proposed European deep-Sea neutrino telescope.
New species discovered during RSe Masterclass
Professor Monty Priede and NERC Student Jessica lead a RSE Masterclass recently where students had to design their own deep-sea animal and name the species. They included such animals as the infamous Scoopfish and several redbacks. Jess put together the poster below which will be displayed in the Oceanlab lobby.
If you would like any information on running the “design your own deep-sea animal” practicals or ideas for working with school kids or other children’s group that you may be involved in, please visit the ECOMAR Public Outreach and Education web pages where you will find lots of ideas and lesson plans. http://www.oceanlab.abdn.ac.uk/ecomar/education.php
8th October 2008
UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN
and NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL
Deepest living fishes caught on camera for the first time
Video footage and photographs available to download from
http://www.nerc.ac.uk/press/features/2008/hadeep.asp – please credit all footage and photographs to:
Natural Environment Research Council and University of Aberdeen
Link to: www.planetearth.nerc.ac.uk
The world’s deepest living fishes have been filmed for the first time.
Scientists filming in one of the world’s deepest ocean trenches have found groups of highly sociable snailfish swarming over their bait, nearly five miles (7700 metres) beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean. This is the first time cameras have been sent to this depth.
“We got some absolutely amazing footage from 7700 metres. More fish than we or anyone in the world would ever have thought possible at these depths,” says project leader Dr Alan Jamieson of the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab, on board the Japanese research ship the Hakuho-Maru.
“It’s incredible. These videos vastly exceed all our expectations from this research. We thought the deepest fishes would be motionless, solitary, fragile individuals eking out an existence in a food-sparse environment,” says Professor Monty Priede, director of Oceanlab.
“But these fish aren’t loners. The images show groups that are sociable and active – possibly even families – feeding on little shrimp, yet living in one of the most extreme environments on Earth.
“All we’ve seen before of life at this depth have been shrivelled specimens in museums. Now we have an impression of how they move and what they do. Having seen them moving so fast, snailfish seems a complete misnomer,” he added.
Although some species of snailfish live in shallow water and even rock pools, the hadal snailfish are found exclusively below 6000 metres. Here they have to contend with total darkness, near freezing temperatures and immense water pressure – at this depth the pressure is 8,000 tonnes per square metre, equivalent to that of 1600 elephants standing on the roof of a Mini car. They feed on the thousands of tiny shrimp-like creatures that scavenge the carcasses of dead fish and detritus reaching the ocean floor.
Hadal snailfish live only in trenches around the Pacific Ocean, with different species confined to each region: the Chile and Peru trenches off South America, the Kermadec and Tonga trenches situated between Samoa and New Zealand in the South Pacific, and trenches of the North-West Pacific including the Japan trench, which Priede’s team is currently investigating.
The work is part of Oceanlab’s HADEEP project – a collaborative research programme with the University of Tokyo – devised by Priede to investigate life in the hadal region of the ocean, which is anything below 6000 metres down. Program leader for the project is Professor Mutsumi Nishida, director of the Ocean Research Institute at the University of Tokyo.
The project has been funded by the Nippon Foundation in Japan since 2006 and by the Natural Environment Research Council since 2007. The latest cruise to the Japan Trench started on 24 September and ended yesterday, 6 October; it was organised by Dr Asako K. Matsumoto, HADEEP research manager. This particular cruise was funded by the Nippon Foundation, via the University of Tokyo.
The deep-sea equipment needed to survive the extreme pressure at these depths was designed and built by the Oceanlab team specifically for this mission. The submersible camera platforms, or ‘landers’, take five hours to reach the depths of the trenches and remain on the seafloor for two days before the signal is given for them to surface.
The team has been keeping an expedition blog, exclusive to Planet Earth online www.planetearth.nerc.ac.uk, a daily news site from the Natural Environment Research Council. The magazine website, which was launched last week, includes video footage and photographs of the expedition as well as blogs, podcasts, features and news.
Notes for editors
1. Background information on the HADEEP project, plus video-footage and photographs of the snail fish can be downloaded from Planet Earth online:
2. Interviews can be arranged with Professor Monty Priede, Director of Oceanlab
University of Aberdeen Press Office
Jennifer Phillips; tel; +44 (0)1244 273174
Natural Environment Research Council Press Office:
Marion O’Sullivan; tel; +44 (0)1793 411727
Tamera Jones; tel; +44 (0)1793 411561
3. The hadal zone is unique. It accounts for 45% of the total oceans depth yet consist of very narrow trench system, most of which are found around the Pacific Rim. These deep trenches are created when the heavier oceanic tectonic plate collides with the lighter continental plates causing a subduction zone, where the depth can plummet very steeply to over 10,000 metres, nearly seven miles.
Because they are so deep the hydrostatic pressure can be up to one tonne per square centimetre. The technical challenges associated with both extreme hydrostatic pressure and distance from the surface means that very few research expeditions have been carried out in this region.
More information can be found in Beyond the Abyss at www.planetearth.nerc.ac.uk
4. Oceanlab is the sub-sea research facility of the University of Aberdeen. Its engineers lead the world in creating systems capable of operating down to 11000 metres (36000 feet) enabling scientists to investigate life throughout the world’s oceans. Testing and engineering services are also offered to industry through the Oceanlab Business Unit. http://www.oceanlab.abdn.ac.uk/
5. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funds world-class science, in universities and its own research centres, that increases knowledge and understanding of the natural world. It is tackling major environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity and natural hazards. NERC receives around £400 million a year from the government's science budget, which is used to provide independent research and training in the environmental sciences. www.nerc.ac.uk
Jointly Issued by the Natural Environment Research Council and the University of Aberdeen.
1st October 2008 - All at Sea
New member of staff
Jasmin Godbold has just submitted her PhD thesis on "Marine Benthic Biodiversity - Ecosystem Function in Complex Systems" under the supervision of Dr Martin Solan. Jasmin has also been emloyed as a Research Assistant to work along with Professor on the HERMES Project
This is a busy time for Oceanlab people
Pacific Ocean: Alan Jamieson and Toyo Fujii together with two students Laura Burns and Debbie Crockard are on board the RV Hakuho-maru heading for the Japan trench to deploy hadal landers at 7000 m depth to film fishes and other animals living there. See their blog “Beyond the Abyss” at:
http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/blogs/abyss/index.aspx They are working with colleagues from the University of Tokyo as part of the HADEEP project.
Indian Ocean: Professor Ursula Witte and new NERC student William Hunter are on board the RV Yokosuka have sailed from Goa-Marmugao Port to investigate the fate of organic matter reaching the sea floor in the oxygen minimum zone. The manned submersible Shinkai 6500 is one of the tools they may be using as part of their investigations.
Atlantic Ocean: Dan Mayor is on board the FRV Scotia doing core sampling off the West coast of Scotland as part of his time-series study on marine benthic biogeochemistry with Prof Ursula Witte.
Mediterranean Sea: 5-17 September. NERC student Jessica Craig joined the Italian RV Urania for a survey off Sicily. She tested the new super-sensitive ICDEEP camera system built by Phil Bagley and John Polanski and got superb images of bioluminescence in the deep sea. As a contribution to the KM3NeT project she made measurements at the NEMO site for the proposed European deep-Sea neutrino telescope.
The ICDeep camera mounted on the CTD rosette of the RV Urania
Example bioluminescent flashes collected from the Sicily Channel and the W Ionian Sea Sept 2008
South Atlantic: Phil Bagley visiting Angola during 21-28 September to check the progress on DELOS project. He discussed with BP the procedures for installation of the platforms scheduled for early 2009.
North Sea: Natalia Serpetti is currently on a cruise with the Alba offshore off Stonehaven whilst Dan Mayor is on the Scotia in the Faroe/Shetland Channel.
Challenger Conference: Evina Gontikaki, Natalia Serpetti and Eva-Maria Zetsche attended the 13th Biennial Challenger Conference for Marine Science from the 8th-11th September in Bangor, Wales (http://www.challenger2008.co.uk). Natalia successfully held her oral presentation "Mapping the seabed sediment landscape off the north-east coast of Scotland", whilst Evina and Eva-Maria both submitted posters (Gontikaki, E., Mayor D.J. and U.Witte: "Degradation of organic matter by a subartic deep-sea community: A pulse-chase experiment with 13C-labelled phytodetritus"; Zetsche E., Lumsdon D.G. and U.Witte: "Temporal variation in sediment permeability changes the metabolic functioning of estuarine sand.")
ICES ASC Conference: Lorna Teal attended the ICES ASC (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas Annual Science Conference). This year it was held Halifax, Nova Scotia. She gave a talk within session G (Sediment-Biota interactions and habitat mapping) entitled "From pattern to process: Mapping Sediment Function". The corresponding conference paper should be available via the ICES webiste (www.ices.dk) shortly.
Techfest 2008 at Oceanlab: Anne Holford and Dr. Alan Jamieson presented talks on Ocean observatory networks and the worlds deepest living animals on 17th. September for the Techfest Technology at Work sessions. After the talks the group were given a tour of the Oceanlab Facilities. If you would like a copy of your picture you can download it by clicking here. The images are full size and may take some time to download depending on your connection speed
Just a week after returning from Greece, Alan and Jessica meet up again in Palermo, Sicily. There they began work on the new iCDDeep camera: the new bioluminescent imaging camera. They spent two days coupling the new camera and 'splat screen' on the CTD probe of the CNR research vessel ‘Urania’ with the intention of performing bioluminescence profiling at the Italian NEMO neutrino telescope site, just off Catania in the Ionian Sea. At the first sign of a hard days work, Alan left Sicily leaving Jess to do all the work at sea. Already the NEMO site has successfully been profiled as well as several other stations in the Straits of Sicily. This work is supported by the KM3NeT project.
Alan Jamieson and Jessica Craig have just returned from Pylos in Greece. There, in collaboration with the NESTOR Institute for Particle Physics, successfully deployed the new DAVE platform in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea as part of the EuroSITES project. The camera system was deployed to 750m depth just off the Bay of Navarino. The system is a temporary imaging and CTD platform deployed as a trial-experiment to establish where, or at what depth on the NESTOR sub-sea cable infrastructure more permanent observatories would be best placed. The system was deployed from the coastal research vessel ‘Lydia’ (see below)
Oceanlab II on schedule
Despite one or two delays Oceanlab II is still on schedule for a March 2009 completion date.
Techfest 2008 at Oceanlab
Anne Holford and Dr. Alan Jamieson will be presenting talks on Ocean observatory networks and the worlds deepest living animals on 17th. September for the Techfest Technology at Work sessions. The visit will start at 4.00p.m. and finish at 6.00p.m.
For further information on how to get tickets for the event please see:
Oceanlab 'Mudclub' prominent at international bioturbation conference
Martin Solan chaired a session, as well as conducting an oral presentation. PhD student Lorna Teal also gave a talk, and Jasmin Godbold and Mark Bulling presented posters.
The conference called Bioturbation: An update on Darwin’s last idea.was held at Renesse, the Netherlands and further information can be found at http://www.bioturbation.be/
On the ferry to Amsterdam (L. to R. Mark Bulling,
Martin Solan and Jasmin Godbold)
The Conference Centre at Renesse
Three papers accepted for publication from the 'Mudclub Team'
Mayor, D.J., Solan, M., Martinez, I., Murray, L., McMillan, H., Paton, G.I., Killham, K. (in press) Acute toxicity of some treatments commonly used by the salmonid aquaculture industry to Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor: whole sediment bioassay tests. Aquaculture.
Godbold, J.A., Solan., M., Killham, K.S. (in press) Consumer species richness and identity effects on marine macroalgal decomposition. Oikos.
Bulling, M.T., Solan, M., Dyson, K.E., Hernandez-Millian, G., Lastra, P., Pierce, G.J., Raffaelli, D.G., Paterson, D.M., White, P.C.L. (in press) Species effects on ecosystem processes are modified by faunal responses to habitat quality. Oecologia.
Lorna completes field work
Lorna Teal completed her field work on the west coast of Scotland. The data comprises a series of in situ timelapse studies using the CEFAS SPI linking benthic invertebrate activity to biogeochemistry in Loch Creran. This study is a one of a series of investigations being carried out in conjunction with Dr Ruth Parker of CEFAS, Lowestoft
The CEFAS SPI at work on Loch Creran
For further information on Lorna’s PhD studies please see her web pages
Bioturbation theme section for Aquatic Biology is out!
Martin Solan and Liam Herringshaw have had the "Bioturbation in aquatic environments: linking past and present " theme section in Aquatic Biology published on open access. Further information can be found at http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/ab/v2/n3/The theme section includes papers from Lorna Teal and Martin Solan.
Martin Solan invited speaker at British Ecological Society annual meeting
Martin Solan was invited to speak at the British Ecological Society Annual Meeting (3rd-5th September 2008) in a thematic session entitled "The effects of climate change on biotic interactions and ecosystem services".
Martin presented the following abstract:
SOLAN, M.1, BULLING, M.T.1, PATERSON, D.M.2, WHITE, P.C.L.3, RAFFAELLI, D.G.3 (1 Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen, UK, 2 University of St. Andrews, UK, 3 University of York, UK)
Biodiversity-ecosystem processes and environmental futures in the marine benthos.
Recent theoretical studies have shown that fluctuations in environmental properties affect population extinction risk and the delivery of ecosystem processes. Here, we present the ecosystem level effects of biodiversity loss on marine benthic processes (bioturbation, nutrient cycling) for a range of temperature, CO2 and temperature x CO2 futures.
For further information please see: http://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/articles/meetings/current/2008_annualmeeting/
New Design Engineer for Oceanlab
Stewart Chalmers joined the Oceanlab team on the 1st September 2008. Stewart joined us from working on sub sea instrumentation. Stewart’s official title is Design Engineer (Commercial and Research) and he will be specialising in electronic engineering.
D331 Trials cruise successful
20th August 2008
Phil Bagley and Nicola King returned from the D331 Trials cruise on the RRS Discovery. In addition to Phil and Nicola Andy Dale from the Scottish Association for Marine Science also attended the cruise. The cruise traversed the North Atlantic in order to recover and redeploy the physical oceanography moorings that were deployed in summer 2007. In total 3 moorings were recovered and four were redeployed for a further 12 months. In addition two whale bone moorings were deployed to look at animal settlement on whale bones over a 24 month period.
The ship sailed from Portland on the 24th July 2008 and finished in St John’s, Newfoundland on the 15th August 2008.
Sediment trap bottles from the mooring at the NW study site of the ECOMAR project
Representatives from a world leading Singapore university visit Oceanlab
Professor Yong Tian CHEW and Dr Wai Lam LOH from the National University of Singapore (NUS) – which was recently ranked 33rd in the world in the Times Higher Education Supplement Quacquarelli Symonds University Rankings visited the University's College of Physical Sciences to discuss future collaborative opportunities between the two institutions. The academics from NUS's Department of Mechanical Engineering, toured facilities including the state of the art Oceanlab building in Newburgh, to learn more about new developments such as the new National Subsea Research.
Professor Yong Tian CHEW and Dr Wai Lam LOH at Oceanlab
New Phd student at Oceanlab
William Hunter joined Oceanlab on 1 August as PhD student under the supervision of Professor Ursula Witte. William's main area of research will be Eco System Function in the Indian Ocean oxygen minimum zone.
Science is the Future
Science is the Future is a program organised by Careers Scotland (www.careers-scotland.org.uk). Dr. Alan Jamieson (far right) from Oceanlab attended this unique opportunity to present to the pupils of Ellon Academy on the 17th of June. Amongst the speakers were the NASA astronaut Bill McArthur and NASA engineer Heather Paul who gave a fascinating insight into space exploration and technology. In contrast, Alan gave a presentation called Way Down Deep that described life in the deepest parts of the world’s Oceans. We hope the event inspired pupils who are considering science as a career and we are very grateful to be asked to participate.
For more details about the events visit;http://www.careers-scotland.org.uk/News/AberdeenAberdeenshire/2506NASAEllonvisit.asp
Environmental Change and Acidification of the Oceans.
Congratulations to Dan Mayor for his article in “Planet Earth” entitled “Acid Oceans”
Research by Dan and his co-workers shows that extreme acidification of the oceans, brought about by dramatically increasing the concentration of CO2 in seawater, significantly reduces the hatching success of the planktonic copepod [Calanus finmarchicus]. Calanus are important prey items for fish, whales and a range of other marine creatures.
Oceanlab is actively engaged in studies on environmental change in the Oceans.
ECOMAR Cruise RRS Discovery D331 cancelled
Owing to technical problems with the RRS Discovery the proposed ECOMAR-MARECO cruise to the Mid-Atlantic ridge has been cancelled. Work is being rescheduled.
Bioturbation in aquatic environments
Members of Oceanlab (Solan, Teal, Bulling and Godbold) contribute to Aquatic Biology thematic issue entitled "Bioturbation in aquatic environments: linking past and present". The thematic issue is open access and examines the response of bioturbation (mixing of sediment by living organisms) to ecological crises and faunal changes.
Worms could bury London under 13 km of sediment!
Lorna Teal and others from Oceanlab calculate that the global volume of sediment mixed by sediment invertebrates such as worms, molluscs and crustaceans, is approximately 8.5 times the volume of Mount Everest, a quantity that would bury the entire metropolitan area of London under 13 km of sediment. Findings published in Aquatic Biology.
Research seminar on Coastal Wetland Ecosystem Services
Solan, Godbold and Bulling are to host the second NERC/ESRC funded transdisciplinary research seminar on Coastal Wetland Ecosystem Services. Coastal wetland ecosystems provide many goods and services that contribute to human well-being throughout the world, and they are of particular importance in the UK where they provide direct economic benefits from fisheries and recreation and indirect benefits from nutrient cycling, flood defence and conservation. The seminar series, a collaboration between the Universities of York, Aberdeen, Plymouth and East Anglia, will consider how the range of ecosystem services derived from coastal wetlands can be maintained in the face of pressures such as environmental change.
Effect of elevated levels of carbon dioxide
Bulling, Hicks, Murray and Solan have completed the first series of experiments examining the effect of elevated levels of carbon dioxide on benthic (bottom living) marine invertebrates. This work is part of a recently awarded NERC standard research grant, Marine biodiversity-ecosystem processes under uncertain environmental futures, awarded to Martin Solan (Oceanlab), David Raffaelli and Piran White (University of York) and David Paterson (University of St. Andrews).
MarBEF World Biodiversity Conference
Martin Solan's research group invited to chair session entitled "Coastal marine benthic biodiversity and ecosystem process under uncertain environmental futures" at the MarBEF World Biodiversity Conference in Valencia, Spain. The conference, the largest of its kind for some years, will review the current understanding of marine biodiversity, its role in marine ecosystem functioning and its socio-economic context.
Martin's research group has also been invited to chair a session entitled "The role of bioturbation in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning" at a conference sponsored by NIOO, Nereis park, Darwin centre for Biogeology and MarBEF called "Bioturbation: an update on Darwins last idea" at Renesse in the Netherlands.
Animation student's deep-sea film wins top award!
Oceanlab staff have been involved in a short animated documentary on a whale fall in the deep sea called "The Luminous Deep". The film was made and produced by Amy Scott-Murray and Kevin Adams, from the School of Media Arts and Imaging, University of Dundee.
Amy and Kevin have recently won an award for the film that was inspired by Oceanlab's bioluminescence and ostracod paper from 2006. They won 'The School of Media Arts & Imaging Prize for Research and Practice' for the best film at their degree show, as well as both graduating with First Class Honours.
In addition, they have also had the film accepted for the "Space-Time juried student competition and exhibition of animation, digital print, poster design, and interactivity". The film will be showcased in the SpaceTime Gallery at the annual SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles, 11 - 15th August. Winning entries will tour nationally and internationally for approximately one year with the SpaceTime Traveling Student Exhibition.
The animated movie's dedicated website can be viewed at www.theluminousdeep.com.
Oceanlab Student wins prestigious award
“Deeper than Light” Exhibition Opens in Aberdeen 31 March 2008
The Aberdeen Maritime Museum in Shiprow Aberdeen is hosting the exhibition:
Deeper than Light that presents unique discoveries and impressions from deep sea expeditions along the mid-Atlantic Ridge. The exhibition is a visual interaction between art, science and technology and reveals the wonders inherent in the unusual organisms living deeper than light.
The exhibition was produced in Norway by Bergen Museum and the international research project MAR-ECO part of the global Census of Marine Life (CoML). The visit of Deeper than Light to Aberdeen is led by Oceanlab, the University of Aberdeen. Oceanlab runs the ECOMAR project - a consortium aimed at research on the mid-Atlantic Ridge. The project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and is a UK element of MAR-ECO.
Oceanlab II contract signed.
The University has signed a contract with Burns Construction (Aberdeen) Ltd for construction of Oceanlab II. Work is expected to start on site, on or before 21 April 2008.
Deep sea Underwater telescope project kicks off.
Anne Holford and Monty Priede were in Catania, Sicily 10-14 March attending the kick-off meeting of the new EU 7th Framework Programme project; KM3NeT-PP (Kilometer cubed Neutrino Telescope). This is the preparatory phase for construction of a giant underwater telescope in the Mediterranean Sea for detection of cosmic neutrinos. Oceanlab is co-ordinating the non-astroparticle physics applications of the telescope for Marine Environment and Geophysics Observations. Anne is a member of the KM3NeT design study editorial board.
Oceanlab on show in London 11-13 March 2008
Oceanlab Business Unit exhibited at the Oceanology exhibition at Excel in London http://www.oceanologyinternational.com/ . David Sproule, Phil Bagley and Herbie Mitchell met up with old friends and clients and made a lot of new contacts. We are already booked in for 2010. See you there!
Oceanlab in Florida. Ocean Sciences Meeting March 2-7, 2008
Nikki King and Phil Bagley represented Oceanlab at the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) annual conference in Orlando. They presented the following talks:
Bagley, P. M.; Smith, K. L.; Bett, B. J.; Priede, I. G.; Rowe,G. T.; Ruhl, H. A.; Bailey, D. M.; Clarke, J.; Walls, A.: DEEP OCEAN ENVIRONMENTAL LONG TERM OBSERVATORY SYSTEM (DELOS): INITIATION OF A 25 YEAR STUDY OF DEEP-OCEAN ECOLOGY NEAR OFFSHORE HYDROCARBON OPERATIONS.
King, N. J.; Priede, I. G.: ECOMAR: ECOSYSTEMS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE AT THE SUB-POLAR FRONT AND CHARLIE-GIBBS FRACTURE ZONE.
And Dave Bailey (now at Glasgow) was also there and presented work from Oceanlab
Bailey, D. M.; Collins, M. A.; Gordon, J. D.; Zuur, A. F.; Priede, I. G.: LONG-TERM CHANGES IN ATLANTIC DEEP-WATER FISH POPULATIONS: EFFECTS OF FISHING AND CLIMATE.
Oceanlab II Start up!
On Tuesday 19 February 2008 the first work began on the new Oceanlab II site when our neighbour Mr Nicholas Schellenberg began moving the hedge of beech trees to allow us access to land purchased by the University to the north of the existing Oceanlab. Nicholas is doing a very nice job conserving the hedge and moving it to a new location before birds start nesting in the spring. We hope for news of start of construction very soon.
Location of Oceanlab II
Transplanting the beech hedge to it new location
Owen McPherson from Oceanlab went to Kristiansand, Norway on 17 February to witness the transfer of the temperature sensitive equipment from the DELOS container to the hold of the new BP ship the Bourbon Oceanteam 101. The ship is in the final stages of fitting out and was due to sail on the 18th February for 2 days to carry out some sea-trials before the remainder of the DELOS modules and platforms are loaded.
One of the pallets of being craned aboard. The crates containing the modules and the DELOS platform sections can be seen behind the base of the crane. (Place mouse over the image to identify the items)
Heading for the hold
ESONIM web pages now live
The European Seafloor Observatory Network Implementation Model, ESONIM, builds on the project ESONET CA (European Seafloor Observatory Network) by producing a practical and flexible business plan to establish a cabled seafloor observatory based on the ESONET Porcupine site (CELTNET).
This implementation model includes the architecture and technical specifications of the observatory and its components; a ten-year cash flow forecast and projected revenue for the project; a legal framework for the implementation and an evaluation of the legal issues inherent to multinational collaborations in national and international waters.
A sharp eyed marine scientist who spotted six strange fish during a deep sea research expedition has been rewarded for trusting her instincts.
After painstaking work with three taxonomy experts, Ocecanlab's Dr Nikki King discovered they were – until now – completely unknown to science. The fish were among marine life landed by the team during a trawl of a stretch of the darkest depths of the Southern Indian Ocean aboard the Royal Research Ship Discovery. The scientists were carrying out research for the Benthic Crozet project which is a major exploration of the waters and ocean dwellers off the Crozet Islands. Nikki was among those responsible for examining any marine creatures caught. She said: “I could only identify them so far – not down to species level. So we packed them into preservative and took them home.”
Nikki then worked closely with Dr Peter Møller and Professor Jørgen Nielsen of the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, and Professor Guy Duhamel of the Paris Natural History Museum before the three confirmed the six were indeed new to science. Nikki said: “Ever since I set my heart on becoming a marine biologist I hoped I would discover one new species so to have discovered six is tremendously exciting!”
Nikki and her taxonomy collaborators then had the honour of naming the deep sea creatures. As a result, Professor Monty Priede, Director of Oceanlab, can take great pride in the knowledge that somewhere in the deep lurks a pink eelpout bearing his namesake Pachycara priedei.
Professor George Wolff from the University of Liverpool – who led the research expedition – was the inspiration for the snailfish now called Paraliparis wolffi.
The research expedition’s exploration area and the cruise vessel itself gave rise to Careproctus crozentensis, Apagesoma n. sp. and Careproctus discoveryae.
But of the six the closest to Nikki’s heart was a large 42cm long brown eelpout now known as Pachycara cousinsi which was named after the 27-year-old’s geophysicist fiancé Michael Cousins.
Professor Priede, who also has an eponymous two-headed parasitic worm, is delighted to be immortalised once again. He said: “We are used to discovering new species as we explore the deep sea but usually they are small worms and shrimps.
Finding six new fishes in one expedition is remarkable. The team were fishing in an area that had only been sampled once previously during the voyage of the HMS Challenger 132 years ago. Nikki did very well spotting the significance of these fishes among the catches. For a zoologist having a species of animal named after one is the ultimate professional accolade, I am, delighted that a little pink fish now carries my name.”
Potential Threat to Sex in the Seas - Ocean Acidification Could Pose A Threat To Reproduction In Our Oceans.
Dr Dan Mayor, Research Fellow
Collaborative research between scientists from the College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen (UOA) and the Fisheries Research Services, Aberdeen, has demonstrated that the large-scale release of carbon dioxide (CO2) in seawater significantly reduces the hatching success of copepods; water flea-like crustaceans that fuel marine fisheries. More....
On Monday 14 January Tony Greig successfully defended his PhD thesis:
The potential application of acoustic methods in North Sea demersal fish stock surveys
He was based at the Fisheries Research Services Marine Laboratory, and was supervised by Dr. Dave Reid, Dr. John Simmonds and Prof Monty Priede. The external examiner was Dr Olav Rune Godø, from the Institute of Marine Research Norway.
The Special Theme section on “Role of scavengers in marine ecosystems”
Edited by Nicola King, David Bailey, Monty Priede and Howard Browman
Is now published in Marine Ecology Progress Series and is on-line at
http://www.int-res.com/articles/theme/m350_TS.pdf with all articles on Open Access.
King NJ, Bailey DM, Priede IG - Introduction
Bailey DM, King NJ, Priede IG - Cameras and carcasses: historical and current methods for using artificial food falls to study deep-water animals .
Barry JP, Drazen JC - Response of deep-sea scavengers to ocean acidification and the odor from a dead grenadier
Cappo M, De’ath G, Speare P - Inter-reef vertebrate communities of the
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park determined by baited remote underwater video stations
Farnsworth KD, Thygesen UH, Ditlevsen S, King NJ -How to estimate scavenger fish abundance using baited camera data
Furness RW, Edwards AE, Oro D - Influence of management practices and of
scavenging seabirds on availability of fisheries discards to benthic scavengers
Harvey ES, Cappo M, Butler JJ, Hall N, Kendrick GA - Bait attraction affects the performance of remote underwater video stations in assessment of demersal fish community structure.
Heagney EC, Lynch TP, Babcock RC, Suthers IM - Pelagic fish assemblages assessed using mid-water baited video: standardising fish counts using bait plume size
Kaiser MJ, Hiddink JG - Food subsidies from fisheries to continental shelf
Malcolm HA, Gladstone W, Lindfield S, Wraith J, Lynch TP - Spatial and temporal variation in reef fish assemblages of marine parks in New South Wales, Australia—baited video observations
Raymond EH, Widder EA - Behavioral responses of two deep-sea fish species to
red, far-red, and white light.
Light on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
The MAR-ECO special issue of Deep-Sea Research (2008) Volume 55, Numbers 1-2
It includes the article from Oceanlab: Deep-sea pelagic bioluminescence over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge by Amy Heger, Elena. Ieno, Nicola King Kirsty Morris, Phil Bagley and Monty Priede.
Examples of Bioluminescence above the Mid Atlantic Ridge.
Departure of DELOS
On Thursdsay the 13 of December the first of 8 large articulated lorries and a big crane arrived at Oceanlab to transport the DELOS platforms and modules on the first leg of their voyage. They were taken to Peterhead harbour, 20 miles north of Aberdeen to be loaded on to vessel which will take them to Kristiansand, Norway where they will be transferred onto BP's new ship the Bourbon Oceanteam 101 to be taken to their final destination.
Day 1 - Loading the DELOS Modules
Day 1 - The first convoy heads off through Newburgh en-route to Peterhead
Day 2 - The loading of the DELOS platform sections.
Day 2 - The departure of the final load.
ECOMAR cruise sets sail for the mid-Atlantic Ridge!
The RRS James Cook set sail on Friday 13th July for the first of three ECOMAR cruises to the mid-Atlantic Ridge. The vessel is armed with the latest research technology to learn more about the unique ecosystems living in this relatively unexplored environment.
The cruise is headed by Prof. Monty Priede of Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen who said yesterday “…it is a great pleasure to be finally be at sea on an expedition dedicated to study the ecology in this area. The ship is stowed full of equipment which is being unpacked, assembled and prepared in time for our arrival at the first station over 1000 nautical miles from our starting point in Southampton.”
Gear getting loaded onto the RRS James Cook on Wednesday 11th July 2007
The ISIT lander getting loaded onto the vessel in front of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
The expected arrival date of the cruise at the mid-Atlantic Ridge is Tuesday 17th July after a brief stop over in Bantry Bay, Ireland to calibrate the on board echosounder (a piece of equipment which uses sound to look at the amount of animals living within the water column).
You can become a virtual deep-sea explorer by following the progress of the cruise using the online ship-to shore diary at www.oceanlab.abdn.ac.uk/blog. You can read about the day-to-day life on a research vessel, meet the crew and post comments and questions to be answered by the scientists on board.
Oceanlab web pages are changing
Our web site is undergoing some housekeeping (see new Image Gallery) and updating of links. This may cause some disruption to our pages for a short while.
Regular visitors to our news pages will see that 'nothing has happened' since August 2006 and that 2006 was a quiet year. Nothing could be further from the truth. 2006 was a very successful year for Oceanlab not least being the award of 4 major research grants (1 Leverhulme Foundation for a 3 year Post Doc Position for deep sea research and 3 NERC Grants).
Another major piece of news is that the University are to build Oceanlab II to cope with the increasing success of Oceanlab in attracting high quality staff and students to Oceanlab. The initial plans have been submitted to the local authority for Planning Permission and it is hoped that building will commence in Summer/Autumn 2007. Oceanlab II will focus mainly on Benthic Biogeochemistry.
It is planned that each month a different member of staff will be responsible for reporting the news. This should ensure that the news pages are up to date as there is always something of interest happening at Oceanlab.
Nikki and Dave run successful scavenger themed session at ASLO "Water Rocks" 2007
Nikki and Dave co-chaired a very successful marine scavenger themed special session (SS09: Studying the Ecology, Biodiversity, and Abundance of Aquatic Animals) at the ASLO "Water Rocks" conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 4th - 9th February. Monty headed the session as an invited speaker conducting a 30 minute tutorial presentation. Monty was then followed by a further six speakers who each gave a 15 minute talk. The session also featured four poster presentations (see all abstracts from the session here), and is the pre-curser to the Marine Ecology Progress Themed Section which is a series of baited camera papers that will be published in 2007. For further information please email either Nikki (email@example.com) or Dave (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Nikki et al. makes Nature Top Ten...
The article that included Nikki et al's images from MAR reached the top ten charts of the articles that have been downloaded most often, in PDF format, from the Nature website in the past calendar month. In at No. 8.... http://www.nature.com/nature/topten/index.html
Hadal Environments Education partnership
Researchers at Oceanlab, (Prof. Priede, Dr Bagley, Dr Solan and Dr Jamieson) and the University of Tokyo Ocean Research Institute (Prof. Tsukamoto and Dr. Matsumoto) will jointly conduct novel primary hadal research and formulate, for the first time, a comprehensive educational programme in hadal science. The project, HADEEP (Hadal Environments Education partnership), is being supported by the Nippon Foundation, Japan. The hadal environment (water depths greater than 6000m) is one of the last habitats on earth to be impacted by unsustainable human activity. If this valuable resource is to be protected and conserved for the benefit of future generations, a better understanding of the deepest parts of the ocean is urgently needed.
Sperm whale washed ashore
Sperm whale washed ashore just north of Oceanlab on Friday 24 March.
Oceanlab at Oceanology 2006
The Oceanlab team spent a successful 4 days at this years Oceanology Exhibition held in the Excel Centre, London, where they had the latest version of the Variable Buoyancy System on display.
Visitors to the stand were asked to guess the pressure at which a camera housing failed with the chance of winning a 12 year old bottle of Smiths Glenlivet. The winner of the bottle was Steven Killingbeck of Rolls-Royce whose guess of 168 BAR was only 9 BAR under the actual pressure of 177 BAR at which the camera casing failed. In 2nd was Stephen Pearlman of InterOcean Systems (190 BAR) and in 3rd was Trevor Smith of TAP Instruments (195 BAR).
Deep-Sea Fish Populations Boom Over the Last 15 Years
In first-of-its-kind research published in the March issue of the journal Ecology, David Bailey of Oceanlab along with Henry Ruhl and Ken Smith of Scripps analyzed fish and other marine animals over a 15-year period in the deep sea of the eastern North Pacific Ocean.
The world's deepest shark
Why are sharks absent from the Abyss? Click here to find out more about the deepest shark recorded to date which was captured by line fishing in the Porcupine Seabight area of the NE Atlantic.
Oceanlogy International 2006
A team from Oceanlab will be attending Oceanology International in March 2006 promoting the Business Unit test facilities, their Variable Bouyancy Device, and environmental development work with BP (See October 2005 news item). Come and see us at Stand 138, Oceanology 2006, Excel Centre London. 21 - 23 March 2006.
Professor Monty Priede and Dr Martin Solan will be presenting papers on the 'The use of autonomous instruments in shelf sea monitoring' Oceanology International 2006: Workshop Wednesday 22 nd March 2006 ; Waterfront Room 10.
The Oceanlab team arrive safely back in Cape Town at the end of the CROZET Cruise D300
Oceanlab is now enrolled as a full affiliated member of MARS (http://www.marsnetwork.org/index.php). The MARS network is a foundation created by and open to Europe's marine research stations. MARS member institutes are world leaders in fundamental marine research and have important research facilities available that allow direct access to the ocean. MARS serves furthermore as a forum and as an interest group and communicates with international organisations and the managers of European research, including the Commission of the European Community in Brussels and the Marine Board of the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg. MARS members are located all over Europe, along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the North, Irish, Baltic and Adriatic Seas, and the Black and Mediterranean Seas.
Jasmin Godbold has secured funding to support her proposal entitled "Species diversity effects on ecosystem function: niche differentiation through resource partitioning" at Kristineberg in Sweden.
Dan Mayor has been invited to attend on behalf of Martin Solan the Marine Ecosystem Connections: Essential indicators of healthy, productive and biologically diverse European shelf seas meeting at Seafas, Lowestoft.
On Thursday 29 November a team from Oceanlab set off on the CROZET Cruise D300, a 42-day cruise in the Austral summer of 2006, which will be the third cruise to the Crozet region.
The Oceanlab team consists of Dr. Phil Bagley, engineer, Dr. Alan Jamieson, engineer, Dr. Ben Wigham, marine biologist, and Nikki King, marine biologist. You can find out more about the project follow their progress by clicking on the following link http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~fredcha/cruisenews.htm
Oceanlab, the University of Aberdeen's leading centre for oceanography, has won a major contract with BP to begin work on an innovative deep-sea environmental monitoring platform.
DELOS or Deep-ocean Environmental Long-term Observatory System will give the multi-national company an insight into a marine environment it is increasingly entering, but where knowledge of the biology is poorly understood. Oceanlab - which is providing the methodology and technology for the project - has received £482,000 of funding for the first year of the £832,000 proposal that aims to deliver the first DELOS to Angola in 2007.
DELOS will comprise two ocean floor platforms - which will be serviced periodically by remote operated vehicle - which will monitor the deep ocean environment within the vicinity of BP offshore operations off Angola for 20 years. On a 1400 metre depth contour, the first "near field" platform will be placed within 50 metres of a wellhead, with the second "far field" platform situated five miles away from drilling activities. This will give independent scientists - who will monitor data from both platforms - a comparison which will allow them to establish any impacts offshore activities may have on the environment.
Jim Clarke, Project Manager of Local Environmental Impact at BP, said: "BP has a substantial portfolio of assets in deep water areas which is growing all the time. Technological developments are allowing us to explore in deeper and deeper water. "However, at the same time, there is limited understanding of impacts beyond the Continental Shelf, both from the industry side as well as within the scientific community. We hope DELOS will go some way to redress that."
Dr Phil Bagley, Technical Director at Oceanlab, said: "This is an exciting opportunity that builds upon our 20 years of experience of designing and building deep ocean systems for biological research and is a valuable asset to our increasing commercial business. Driven by BP's forward looking approach to environmental issues the long term monitoring platform will provide scientists with insights into any impact of offshore activities, contribute to an increased understanding of the mechanisms linking climate change to deep-ocean ecology, and provide a long term source of data for deep ocean scientific research. Oceanlab provided the concept design for the two DELOS monitoring platforms and will supply and develop the instrumentation modules that will record deep ocean environmental and biological data. BP as well as providing the initial capital cost for this project will further provide the ROV support to allow periodic servicing of the instrument modules and data distribution to the independent scientific committee."
Professor Monty Priede, Director of Oceanlab, added: "The deep ocean environmentinto which BP operations are gradually extending are poorly understood withresearch surveys regularly discovering new habitats and communities of animals previously unknown to science. By establishing long term monitoring of the deep sea physical environment and biological activity it should be possible to compensate to a large degree for the previous lack of knowledge. Long term deep ocean monitoring will be a major part of future deep ocean research. Worldwide conceptual studies are taking place into designs for such long term monitoring. The BP DELOS project with monitoring commencing in early 2007 will be in the forefront of this research effort."
As well as Oceanlab, BP has brought some of the world's leading deep ocean biologists together on the project. Collaborators include the University of California, Texas A&M University, and the National Oceanographic Centre.
For Oceanlab - which set up its commercial arm offering environmental data collection, sub sea technology testing, product development and equipment supply two years ago - this is one of its most ambitious commercial projects.
David Sproule, Business Unit Manager at Oceanlab, said: "DELOS is excellent from the Business Unit point of view as this project addresses two of our key areas: data collection and product development. This is one of our biggest contracts to date. The bringing together of BP, in this area of environmental monitoring, and the University of Aberdeen's commitment to making the academic excellence in Oceanlab accessible to industry, has produced exciting and long term ambitions on both sides."
Notes to Editors
For more information contact Dr Phil Bagley on (01224) 274411, Professor Monty Priede (01224) 274408, David Sproule on (01224) 274403 and Jim Clarke on (01932) 775933.
BP and the University of Aberdeen have a long association. When Oceanlab was being built, BP's marine biologist for the Angola sector was Dr John Addy, who happened to live in Aberdeen. He contacted Oceanlab and this led to a ROBIO lander - designed to investigate biodiversity of the benthic communities around oil exploration sites - being built for BP and deployed in Angola.
Other associations include BP sponsoring a visit by two scientists from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in Angola to visit the University of Aberdeen.
Dr John Addy, who now lives in Aberdeenshire, was made an Honorary Research Fellow by the University.
Award for Nikki
Nicola King was recently awarded the Science Communicator's Award from the Researcher in Residence initiative based at the Centre for Science Education at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. The award was presented to Nicola in the Davy Faraday lecture theatre at the Royal Institution, London on the 23rd September 2005. The award is given if the applicant has contributed significantly to science communication and public outreach, in addition to completing a "Researchers in Residence" school placement.
The award followed a day in the Royal Institution helping at an "Express Yourself" conference where school age pupils have the opportunity to present their scientific projects as both oral presentations and posters.
Nicola's portfolio of public outreach includes 5 months of lunchtime MAR-ECO session for students at Ellon Academy, a school local to Oceanlab, as well as a visit to Oceanlab for local families and talks to fellow scientists promoting the Researchers in Residence scheme.
Nikki receiving her award
Kirsty Kemp has written a successful application to join the INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE TRAINING COURSE IN ANTARCTIC BIOLOGY.
She has been selected as one of 20 international researchers who will spend a month at the United States Antarctic Program's base at McMurdo Station between January 4th and February 4th 2006.
The emphasis of this NSF-sponsored course will be on the integrative biology and adaptation of Antarctic marine organisms, incorporating both laboratory and field-based projects. For more information on the course see: http://antarctica.usc.edu/
Professor Ursula Witte, Nikki King and Amy Heger attended the European Marine Biology Symposium, Vienna 21-25 August 2005. Nikki and Amy were part of the UK contingent to win the 'Yellow Submarine Competition", other team members were Dan Jones (NOC) and Catriona McInerny (Queen's University Belfast). See the Team in all their glory
Oceanlab Director Professor Monty Priede and PhD student Nikki King attended the first MAR-ECO workshop in Lisbon, Portugal, 3rd-4th June 2005. They presented a total of 4 abstracts, which are available at the link below: http://www.mar-eco.no/sci/documents/MAR-ECOWorkshop-Program&Abstracts.pdf
Professor Priede also attended the 2005 International Ocean Research Conference in Paris (6-10th June 2005). Where he presented "Autonomous landers as a biological survey tool in international deep sea research programmes". The abstract for which can be found via: http://www.tos.org/2005_iorc/2005orc_program.pdf
Nikki King recently attended a survey cruise with the NOAA's ship the Delaware II out of Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The cruise was to the Bear Seamount, where both mid-water and seafloor trawls were carried out.
Nikki saw lots of very interesting mid-water fish species which were bought up in extremely good condition due to the use of an aquarium codend. Aquarium codends are metal boxes attached to the end of the net, which create an area where water flow is considerably reduced and act as a holding tank for the animals caught.
See the link below for information on the Delaware II and the NOAA: http://www.moc.noaa.gov/de/
March 12 - 19th. Resident PhD student Nikki King recently took part in Science Snaps on Northsound 1 for National Science week. See the link below to listen to Nikki's science snap and read about her research. http://www.sciencesnaps.co.uk/explore/3.nikki_king.htm
1st March - Oceanlab will be joined by two new members of staff, Patricia Lastra and Gema Hernandez. They will both be working with Drs. Graham Pierce and Martin Solan on a NERC funded project (in collaboration with Profs. Piran White and David Raffaelli, University of York) looking at the importance of environmental heterogeneity in determining species interactions.
3rd-11th June - Drs. Alan Jamieson and Phil Bagley will travel to Denmark to collaborate with Prof. Ronni Glud and Dr. Henrik Staahl (Marie Biology Laboratory, University of Copenhagen) as part of COBO. The team will integrate and deploy the new University of Aberdeen Sediment Profile Imaging (SPI) camera with the University of Copenhagen optode system in a series of experiments designed at linking changes in sediment chemistry with the burrowing activities of invertebrates such as worms, clams and shrimps.
17th July - 4th August - Drs. Martin Solan and Alan Jamieson have been invited on a cruise led by the Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences (IOPAS) and the Centre of Excellence for Shelf Seas Science to Spitzbergen to investigate the effect of climate change and glacial retreat on the benthic fauna of the coast. The University of Aberdeen will be investigating changes in the benthic community using Sediment Profiling Imaging technology, recently designed at Oceanlab.
10 February 2005
Dr. Martin Solan, Dr. Graeme Paton and Prof. Ken Killham secured funding from the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum to investigate the impact of fish farm chemicals, such as sea lice treatments, on the marine environment. The study will focus on benthic (bottom dwelling) invertebrate communities.
18 October 2004
Congratulations to Dr Emma Battle and Dr Camila Henriques who both successfully completed their PhDs recently and have now moved on from Oceanlab to further their careers. Emma is now working for the NHS and Camila has taken up a post as a lecturer in Mexico. We wish them all the best in the future.
11 October 2004
Martin Solan's Talks 11th-15th October
Martin Solan is plenary speaker at the international conference entitled 'The role of biodiversity in simple, physically driven ecosystems with special focus on sandy sediments' in Sopot, Poland.
7th-9th November - Martin Solan is plenary speaker at the international conference entitled 'Bioturbation: the ever changing seafloor" hosted by the Centre d'Océanologie de Marseille at Carry-Le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône, France.
8th December - Martin Solan is the invited speaker for the "Recent Advances" seminar series for the Division of Environmental & Evolutionary Biology (DEEB) at St Andrews University, Scotland.
6 October 2004
Prof Monty Priede visited the USA during 21-29 September. First he travelled to Woodshole MA to give a seminar on 22 September at the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department entitled 'Autonomous Lander Vehicles for Observations and Experiments on Deep Sea Fishes'. During his time there he visited the Deep Submergence Laboratory and inspected the JASON II ROV that is capable of working to 6500m depth http://www.whoi.edu/marine/ndsf/vehicles/jason/index.html. Whilst at Woodshole he visited Dr John Galbraith, a specialist in deep sea fishes at the NOAA North East Fisheries Center www.nefsc.noaa.govto discuss work they had done on board the RV G.O.Sars on the Mid Atlantic Ridge in July 2004 and proposed future work. With Dr. Peter Smith of the Marine Biological laboratory he explored waters around Woodshole on 23 September and got involved with the search for Great White Shark that had strayed inshore and was attracting much attention from boats and a CBS News helicopter overhead. Monty then went on San Diego in California to visit the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to visit Dr David Bailey who is on a Marie Curie Fellowship there and to attend a workshop chaired by Prof. Ken Smith http://smithlab.ucsd.edu/ and organised by BP on Deep-Water Marine Biodiversity.
28 September 2004
Portraits of the Deep
Portraits of the Deep is a display of pictures of deep-sea sharks and fish from the North-east Atlantic Ocean found at depths of 1000m. The images were taken during a two-week scientific cruise and were captured by a camera attached to a frame called the ROBIO lander. The camera was pre-programmed to take images once every minute.
Mackerel was attached to the lander on the end of a 'bait arm' to mimic a natural food fall from the surface layers of the ocean. The smell attracted scavenging animals, such as fish and sharks that live on and around the seafloor.
This is Oceanlab's first photography exhibition and is sponsored by Kongsberg Maritime who supplied the high-resolution digital camera used on the cruise, and Lighthouse Design in Aberdeen.
Portraits of the Deep is currently on display in the University of Aberdeen, Zoology museum until the 23 rd October 2004. The images were also on display in the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) foyer throughout Littoral 2004.
17th September 2004
Science seeks to set up 1st Digital Fish Library. David Bailey gets a mention in the San Diego Union Tribune in an article about MRI studies of deep-sea fish anatomy. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/science/20040906-9999-7m6fishsub.html.
Alan Jamieson's news updates from January 2004.
January, 2004. Alan Jamieson and Amy Heger completed the first ANTARES cruise on board the high-speed catamaran 'GG9' for the Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseilles (CPPM) , South of France. Vertical profiles of bioluminescence where undertaken with the ISIT lander in the vicinity of the underwater neutrino telescope 'ANTARES'.
April, 2004. Ben Wigham, Alan Jamieson, Nikki King and Amy Heger participated in the first leg of the German RV 'Meteor' M61 cruise to the North East Atlantic coral mounds. There they deployed the ROBIO lander and the ISIT camera mounted on the Geomar BCL lander on and off the coral mounds in the Porcupine Sea Bight and the Rockall Bank.
May, 2004. Alan Jamieson and Amy Heger returned to Marseille and completed the second ANTARES cruise on board the high-speed catamaran 'GG9' for the Centre for Particle Physics in Marseille, South of France ).
August, 2004. As part of a joint project between the Serpent scheme (Ben Wigham) and the FRS Marine lab in Aberdeen (Emma Jones), Alan Jamieson and Nikki King completed 9 ROBIO deployments from the white fish trawler 'Veracious II' in the North Sea around the Buzzard oil field. Sediment grabs and bottom trawling were also carried out ).
September, 2004. Alan Jamieson and Kirsty Kemp deployed the DOBO lander in the North East Atlantic at 4100m depth from the RRS Discovery during the trials cruise D284T.
31st August 2004
Martin Solan and Alan Jamieson, supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, visited colleagues at the University of Tokyo, Japan.
Prof. Bill Ritchie, Dr David Green and Dr Martin Solan (members of the Aberdeen Institute for Coastal Science and Management) have secured European funding for a project entitled Corepoint. The project will run for 3.5 years and relates to coastal zone management.
Martin Solan has been appointed as on of the editors for Marine Biology Research (formerly Sarsia and Ophelia).
12th August 2004
Camila Henriques finishes her PhD on latitudinal and bathymetric patterns of the distribution and behaviour of deep-sea scavenging fishes. Her research is based on in-situ lander observations from four locations in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean.
3rd August 2004
The Research Vessel G.O.Sars (Institute of Marine Research and University of Bergen), causes a stir when they drop off Prof. Monty Priede and PhD student Nicola King after a month long cruise to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). The cruise was the second leg of the MAR-ECO project (www.mar-eco.no), which is a pilot project of the Census of Marine Life (www.coml.org).
The RObust BIOdiversity (ROBIO) lander was deployed 19 times throughout the cruise, capturing a total of over 4000 images. In addition the ISIT camera conducted 14 dives to depths of 1000-3500m. Genetic samples were also taken from armed grenadiers are discrete populations of these fish along and across the MAR.
Over 120 people were given a guided tour of the vessel during its short stop in Aberdeen, including a group of pupils from Ellon Academy. The cruise leader, Dr. Odd Aksel Bergstad, and Nicola King gave the students a presentation of cruise highlights and ROBIO lander photos.
1st August 2004
This month's edition of BioScience includes a review on how benthic invertebrate biodiversity effects various ecosystem processes. The front cover shows a sediment profile image taken by Martin Solan.
28th July - 1st August
Martin Solan participates in a diversity reduction working group, National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), University of California, Santa Barbara. The group is examining the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning in a wide range of natural and managed ecosystems by evaluating the results of field experiments in which species diversity and composition of plants, animals, and/or microbes have been reduced and ecosystem processes have been measured.
22nd June 2004
Emma Battle finishes her PhD on the distribution of deep-sea bioluminescence in the north-east Atlantic Ocean using a very light sensitive camera on the ISIT lander.
13th May 2004
Alan Jamieson completes his part-time PhD entitled 'Autonomous lander technology for biological research at mid-water, abyssal and hadal depths' in Helsingør, Denmark.
5th - 7th April 2004
Dr Martin Solan and Alan Jamieson attend international meeting, SPICE (Sediment Profile Imaging Colloquium of Experts) in Galway, Ireland.
16th - 19th March 2004
Oceanlab exhibits at Oceanology '04 and many customers and other interested parties use the opportunity to meet staff members.
ESONET project continues to progress successfully
ESONET second science meeting was held as an associated meeting within Oceanology. Timetable available at this link www.abdn.ac.uk/ecosystem/esonet/science2_timetable.html
Oceanlab joins Subsea UK as founder members upon the closing of the Scottish Subsea Technology Group. We exhibited at the first Subsea UK Exhibition at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on the 29th. January where despite the weather conditions considerable interest was raised. Oceanlab has already an expanding customer base both nationally and internationally and the participation in Subsea UK is most welcome.
23rd-29th October 2003
Martin Solan was invited to participate and provide data for the international BioMERGE (Biotic mechanisms of ecosystems regulation in the global environment) workshop entitled "Integration of Functional and Taxonomic Diversity", Missouri Botanical Gardens, USA 23rd-29th October to develop algorithms necessary for conversions of changes in ecosystem functioning. The website for Biomerge is at: www.columbia.edu/cu/biomerge/index.html.
August 25-29, 2003
Oceanlab attended the 10th Deep Sea Biology Symposium http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~oimb/deepsea/frontpage.html in Oregon, USA presenting our work in a total of 8 talks and 7 posters. Subjects covered included integrated studies of deep-sea animal physiology and activity, physical time signal effects on deep ocean fish, deep sea fish distribution, deep ocean biolouminescence, and current and future engineering techniques for ocean biological research. See www.abdn.ac.uk/oceanlab/research/papers.php for more details.
May 25th, 2003
Following the article in the New Scientist magazine (see below) and talks with the German provider of the transatlantic communication cables, ESONET features a headline article in the science section of Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (a major German Sunday newspaper) with Forschen statt Klönen - Alte Tiefseekabel sind ein Segen für die Wissenschaft / Research instead of talking - old deep-sea cables are a benison for science, Nr. 21, S. 58.
May 10th, 2003
ESONET features as a headline article in The Marine Scientist magazine (Exploring uncharted territory, pp. 49-51., No.3., Spring edition, IMAREST Publications).
May 3rd, 2003
ESONET features in New Scientist magazine (Race against time to rescue undersea cables, p.8., Vol. 178, issue 2393, 03 May 2003).
Access to Research Infrastructures (ARI) study at Kristineberg Marine Research Station, Sweden. Four projects:
(i) Resource partitioning and feeding ecology of mobile deposit feeding holothurians,
(ii) The effect of megafaunal bioturbation on sediment acoustics and geotechnical properties,
(iii) The effect of species richness and functional richness on ecosystem functioning, and
(iv) Quantification of benthic bioturbation using fluorescent sediment profile imaging.
This work included collaboration with the Southampton Oceanography Centre Deep Seas Group (Ian Hudson and Ben Wigham) and the Benthic Ecology group from Kristineberg Marine Research Station (Rutger Rosenberg, Hans Nilsson and Karl ) during a three week stay in Sweden.
Oceanlab hosts the 6th Underwater Science Symposium entitled Monitoring and Measuring the Underwater Environment, held 3rd-6th April, 2003 for the Society for Underwater Technology at University of Aberdeen.