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University of Southampton Deep ocean research project

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 9:54 pm    Post subject: University of Southampton Deep ocean research project Reply with quote

News from the University of Southampton

Ref: 05/67 12 April 2005

Deep ocean research gets € 15 million euros from the EU


Deep ocean research stretching from the Arctic to the Black Sea is to
receive 15 million euros (around £10 million

sterling) as part of a
programme involving 15 countries across Europe.

Led by Southampton Oceanography Centre's Professor Phil Weaver, the

project (Hotspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas) will
study ecosystems along Europe's deep-ocean margin and is one of the

research projects of its kind.

HERMES will bring together leading experts in biodiversity, geology,
sedimentology, physical oceanography, microbiology

and biogeochemistry, as
well as experts in socio-economics. This represents the first major attempt
to understand European deep-water ecosystems and their

environment in an
integrated way.

Scientists will investigate life on the deep ocean margin at a number of
study sites extending from the Arctic down to the

Gulf of Cadiz, and through
the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. These sites encompass a wide range of
ecosystems, from open slopes where biological communities

are affected by
landslides and deep-ocean currents, to ecosystem hotspots such as
communities dependent on fluids escaping from the seabed (cold

cold-water coral mounds, canyon communities and anoxic environments.

Professor Weaver explains: 'These systems are incredibly fragile and

urgent study. A key goal of the HERMES project is to evaluate the
vulnerability of these communities to global change and human activities,
and if

necessary, develop strategies to protect them. The outcome of our
research will provide policy advice to the EU.'

Over the next four years the project will

make full use of the latest
deep-sea technology. Information on deep sea life along the European margin
will be gathered on a large number of research cruises,

including some that
will use Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) from Southampton Oceanography
Centre, the French research institute, IFREMER, and from the

University of

HERMES started in April 2005 and will run for four years. EC funding is
provided from the Framework Six Programme - Global Change

and Ecosystems.
The HERMES consortium is made up of 36 research institutes and nine small
businesses from 15 European countries.

For more information

on the HERMES project, visit the website at


Notes to Editors:
A photo of Professor Phil Weaver holding deep sea

coral is available from
SOC Press Officer Kim Marshall-Brown on (+44) 023 8059 6170; email

National media contact points:


United Kingdom:
The HERMES project co-ordinator is Professor Phil Weaver, SOC (Southampton
Oceanography Centre)
Telephone (+44) 023 8059 6020; email:

Project co-ordinator, Dr Vikki Gunn, SOC
Telephone (+44) 023 8059 6550; email

SOC Press Officer, Kim

Marshall-Brown on (+44) 023 80 596170; email

Southampton Oceanography Centre is a joint venture between the University

Southampton and the Natural Environment Research Council. It is one of the
world's leading centres of excellence devoted to research, teaching,

development and provision of infrastructure in ocean and earth
sciences. From 1 May 2005 it will be known as the National Oceanography


Dr Jean-Paul Foucher, IFREMER.
Telephone (+33) 2 98 22 42 69; email
Ifremer (the French Research Institute

for the Sustainable Exploitation of
the Sea) develops basic and applied research, expertise activities and
industrial and technological development actions aiming at

identification, evaluation forecasting and sustainable exploitation of
marine resources, the development of more efficient methods for the

behavioural forecasting, protection and enhancement of the marine
and coastal environments and the encouragement of the economic development
of maritime


Prof. Laurenz Thomsen, International University Bremen
Telephone (+49) 421 2003254; email

University Bremen is a private, independent research
university founded in 1999, aiming to bring many of the aspects of American
higher education to Europe. The

faculty of Earth Science and Engineering is
developing a geoscience research centre and co-ordinates a science/industry
consortium of European research facilities

concentrating on continental
margin studies.
Prof. Andre Freiwald, University of Erlangen
Telephone: (+49) 9131 8526959; email
The Friedrich-Alexander University is one of largest Universities in
southern Germany, and includes the Institute of Paleontology

is the leading institute in Germany of deep-water coral ecosystem research,
focusing on habitat classification, geochemical coral growth studies,

and the biodiversity aspect over a latitudinal gradient.

Dr Vasilis Lykousis, HCMR
Telephone (+30) 22910 76380; email
The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) is the state (national)
research centre carrying out oceanographic research for the Ministry

Industry, Energy and Technology. HCMR comprises five institutes with 180
research staff, 200 technicians and 60 administrative and secretarial staff.

Centre is fully equipped with state of art laboratory and field
equipment, and has participated in 35
EU-funded RTD projects.

Dr Anthony Grehan,

Telephone: (+351) 91 512004; email
The National University of Ireland, Galway, has traditionally played a major
role in

marine research in Ireland due to its strategic location as a
gateway to the North Atlantic. The Marine Law and Ocean Policy Centre is a
recent cross-faculty

initiative that facilitates research into the Law of
the Sea; law and policy of fisheries and aquaculture; ocean and coastal zone
management; law of the marine

environment and ecosystems; and sustainable
development and exploitation of marine resources.

Dr Marco Taviani, CNR-ISMAR
Telephone (+39)

051 6398874; email:
The Italian National Research Council (CNR) is the leading public structure
in the field of research and

development in Italy. ISMAR is a
multidisciplinary research institute within CNR that carries out geological,
biological and oceanographic research. The main

research fields at ISMAR in
Bologna are geodynamics, Neogene stratigraphy and palaeoclimate, marine and
coastal environmental geology, oceanography, and

technological development.

The Netherlands:
Prof. Tjeerd Van Weering, NIOZ
Telephone (+31) 222 369395; email
The Royal Netherlands

Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) is an independent
research institute primarily funded by the Netherlands Organisation for
Scientific Research (NWO). With a

history of over 125 years of marine
research, NIOZ is one of the major European oceanographic institutes whose
mission is to pursue multidisciplinary and

integrated marine research. Its
research covers coastal and shelf seas as well as the deeper continental
margin and open ocean and involves close collaboration

between physicists,
chemists, geologists and biologists.

Prof. Jürgen Mienert, University of Tromsø
Telephone (+47) 77 644446; email
The University of Tromsø is the world's most northerly seat of learning and
research. The University has been involved in European

continental margin
and deep-sea research for over 20 years. UiT has played a leading role on
developing new research projects and research areas, and has

experience covering high latitude gas hydrate research, paleoclimatology,
seismic stratigraphy, sediment processes, applied geophysics


Dr Joao Vitorino, Insituto Hidrografico
Telephone (+351) 31 0943043; email

Portuguese Hydrographic Institute (IH) is a research institute of the
Portuguese Navy with administrative and financial autonomy. IH has national
responsibilities in

the areas of cartography/hydrography as well as
navigation. Main research areas include the dynamics of continental shelf
and slope waters and interaction with

deep-sea circulation, physical and
sedimentary impacts of riverine inputs to the shelf, the geological
characterisation of continental shelf and slope, and the use of

assimilation model in oceanography.

Dr Miquel Canals, University of Barcelona.
Telephone (+34) 93 402 13 60; email
University of Barcelona is one of the largest academic and research
institutions in Spain. CRG Marine Geosciences (CRG-MG) is a research

of excellence within the University, focusing on marine sedimentary
processes and products, modern deep-sea ecosystems and their

setting, and paleoceanography.

HERMES consortium:
Natural Environment Research Council - Southampton Oceanography Centre,

Challenger Oceanic Systems and Service, UK
Scottish Association for Marine Science, UK
University of Aberdeen, UK
University of Birmingham,

University of Cardiff, UK
University of Liverpool, UK
University of Southampton, UK

University of Gent, Belgium

Institut Français de Recherche

pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER),
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS-CEFREM), France
Jobin Yvon SAS, France
Proteus SA,

Universite de Bretagne Occidentale, France
Universite Pierre & Marie Curie Paris VI, France

International University Bremen, Germany

Wegener Institute, Germany
ArchimediX GmbH, Germany
Friedrich-Alexander Universitaet Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Max Planck

Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany
MMCD Multimedia Consulting GmbH, Germany
University of Bremen (RCOM), Germany

Hellenic Centre for Marine

Research, Greece

National University of Ireland, Galway

Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche (CNR-ISMAR), Italy
Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per

le Scienze del Mare (CoNISMa),
Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS), Italy

Institut Scientifique,


Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), The Netherlands
Netherlands Institute for Ecology

University of Tromsø, Norway

of Marine Research, Norway
Volcanic Basin Petroleum Research AS, Norway
Olex AS, Norway

University of Aveiro, Portugal
Instituto Hidrografico,


National Institute of Marine Geology and Geo-ecology, Romania

University of Barcelona, Spain
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas

(CSIC), Spain
Praesentis SL, Spain
Median SCP, Spain

University of Goteborg, Sweden

Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology,


Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Sue Wilson

University of Southampton
Southampton SO17 1BJ

Sue Wilson
Press & PR Officer
Media Relations
University of

Southampton SO17 1BJ
T +44 (0)23 80 595457
F +44 (0)23 80 593285
Latest University news:
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