Current and past Oceanlab Research Projects

For more details on current Oceanlab projects please click on individual staff profiles.

Seaweed biodiversity of the Falkland Islands and sub-Antarctic region

Professor Frithjof Kuepper

The seaweed biodiversity around the Falklands remains incompletely explored. Since the pioneering work of Skottsberg in the early 20th century, few phycologists have visited the islands. Especially there are significant gaps in the understanding of the Falklands’ deep-water brown algal flora.

The project will study the molecular biology, ecology and physiology of macroalgae of the Subantarctic region. A Falklands Islands expedition will provide samples for molecular identification of mostly filamentous macroalgae, cataloguing seaweed herbarium specimens and culturing of live isolates.

 

HADEEP NF-HADal Environmental Science Education Program

Professor Monty Priede

Little is known about life or biogeochemical processes in the hadal zone. The objective of the Project is to conduct novel primary hadal research and formulate, for the first time, a comprehensive educational programme in hadal science.
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European Sea Floor Observatory Network (ESONET)

Professor Monty Priede

ESONET is a proposed sub sea component of the European GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) to provide strategic long term monitoring capability in geophysics, geotechnics, chemistry, biochemistry, oceanography, biology and fisheries. To provide representative sampling around Europe 10 regional networks are proposed in contrasting oceanographic regions.
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ECOMAR - Ecosystem of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at the Sub-Polar Front and Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone

Professor Monty Priede

£2 million pounds has been awarded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council for a four year consortium project led by Prof Monty Priede of Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen. The project will start 1 October 2006 and finish 30 September 2010.
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European Seafloor Observatory Network Implementation Model

Professor Monty Priede

The European Seafloor Observatory Network Implementation Model (ESONIM) is a Specific Support Action (SSA) that builds on the results of the EU FP5 project ESONET (European Seafloor Observatory Network) to contribute to the realisation of the seabed observatory component of the EU Global Monitoring for Environment & Security (GMES) Initiative and Global Earth Observation Programme (GEO).

ESONIM will produce a practical, flexible business plan to establish a seafloor observatory based on the ESONET Porcupine site. The business plan will include the technical specifications of the observatory components and architecture; a ten year cash-flow forecast for the observatory and projected revenue. While based on the Porcupine site the plan will be implementable at any or all of the other ESONET sites.
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Variable buoyancy device

Dr Phil Bagley

Oceanlab are developing a Variable Buoyancy Device (VBD) to provide a low cost, low power consumption, variable buoyancy capability for underwater vehicles. The aim of the project is to develop a fully functional working prototype that may be used as a demonstrator operating in a deep sea environment.
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LOTUS Long Time-series Undersea Surveillance

Dr David Bailey

The LOTUS project is a Marie Curie Outgoing International Fellowship consisting of 2 years at Scripps Institution of Oceanography ( University of California, San Diego) and 1 year at Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen.

So far the main activities have taken place at an abyssal study site on the Monterey Fan in the Northeast Pacific Ocean (4100 m deep). This site has been studied for over 15 years, using a camera tripod and sediment trap array, and surveys using cores and a camera sled. I have been studying the fish inhabiting this abyssal site. I have analysed camera sled films and video recordings made using the Sprint lander. I have demonstrated dramatic changes in the fish community, the first descriptions of which are due to appear in "Ecology" in 2006.

Deep-ocean Environmental Long-term Observatory System (DELOS)

Dr Phil Bagley

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.
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Biodiversity & Geophysical Processes in Patchy Environments (BAGPIPES)

Dr Graham Pierce & Dr Martin Solan

Ecosystem processes may be substantially affected by heterogeneity, but these effects are not well understood. The importance of environmental heterogeneity in determining species interactions in marine and freshwater environments has been demonstrated only relatively recently, at landscape (km), regional (m) and local (cm) scales. Habitat heterogeneity may also reflect fragmentation, a main cause of biodiversity loss, so understanding the relationship between heterogeneity and ecosystem processes is of critical importance to biodiversity conservation.

Coastal Ocean Bethnic Observatory (COBO)

Professor Ursula Witte & Dr Martin Solan

Coastal ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to anthropogenic perturbation, affecting biodiversity and ecosystem stability and resilience. The overall objective of COBO is to integrate emerging and innovative technologies from different disciplines (physics, chemistry, biology, imagery) to provide in situ monitoring of sediment habitats, a key component of coastal marine ecosystems, in order to understand complex interactions between the biota (function and diversity) and their chemical environment. Existing technologies have limited spatial and temporal sampling resolutions and this has hampered progress in determining key parameters and in explaining biogeochemical patterns / processes and in modelling ecosystem dynamics. Improved in situ technologies are required to provide rigorous scientific information on processes regulating this unique and fragile habitat and for assessing, controlling and minimising human impact on European coastal waters thus addressing societal need. The combination of innovative instruments from the different disciplines will provide powerful tools to significantly advance our understanding of organism sediment relations under dynamic coastal conditions and enhance predictive capability. COBO represents a major step towards the development of permanently operating benthic observatories for coastal management.

Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF)

Dr Martin Solan

Intensification of fish farming activity and the amalgamation of farm units has the potential to cause an increased risk of organic contaminant pollution. Although the amalgamation of fish farm units into a fewer number of larger operations offers greater financial efficiency, concern exists over whether the discharge of sea lice treatment chemicals and other synthetic organic compounds from large scale operations may have a greater environmental impact than an equivalent use of such compounds at several smaller farm units. To address this concern, it is necessary to assess how fish farm amalgamation can be implemented in an envronmentally sustainable manner.
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KM3NET

Professor Monty Priede

KM3NeT, an European deep-sea research infrastructure, will host a neutrino telescope with a volume of at least one cubic kilometre at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea that will open a new window on the Universe. The kilometer-sized KM3NeT will search for neutrinos from distant astrophysical sources like gamma ray bursters, supernovae or colliding stars and will be a powerful tool in the search for dark matter in the Universe.
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Hotspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas (HERMES)

Professor Monty Priede

HERMES is an integrated research project designed to gain new insights into the biodiversity, structure, function and dynamics of ecosystems along Europe's deep-ocean margin.
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CROZET

Professor Monty Priede

The CROZET Project will compare oceanic biogeochemical provinces that receive difference fluxes of organic matter to the seafloor. A number of studies of this nature have been attempted, but these were complicated by factors such as differences in latitude, water depth, physics and catastrophic events like turbidites.
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