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Veerle Huvenne is a Research Leader at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, and is the Chief Scientist on board this expedition. Veerle is specialised in marine habitat mapping, particularly of complex deep-sea ecosystems such as submarine canyons, cold-water coral reefs, seamounts and hydrothermal vents. Veerle has studied Whittard Canyon for over a decade, and also coordinated the previous CODEMAP2015 expedition in the area.
Brian Bett is a deep-sea benthic biologist from the NOC Ocean BioGeosciences Division, Seafloor Ecosystems group. Through the Climate Linked Atlantic Sector Science (CLASS) project he is involved in the seafloor science elements of the Whittard Canyon and Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory operations planned for JC237. He has a broad experience of seafloor coring, photography, moorings, and ROV and AUV operations in the deep NE Atlantic.
Susan is a postdoctoral researcher in the Ocean Technology and Engineering Group at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK. She is a marine microbiologist with expertise in the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) for marine biodiversity assessments. Her research focus is currently on the design and development of new technologies for biological ocean observations. During JC237, she will be responsible for the autonomous eDNA sampler RoCSI (Robotic Cartridge Sampling Instrument) recently developed at NOC and also the Continuous Plankton Recorder from the Marine Biological Association.
I am a physical oceanographer at the University of East Anglia with a specific interest in the small-scale physical processes that occur in submarine canyons, and how they interact biogeochemical and sedimentological processes. My previous work in Whittard Canyon includes using autonomous ocean gliders and numerical models to map the energetic internal wave field. On JC237 I will be coordinating the DeepGlider mission and processing both the glider and CTD/LADCP data in near-real-time.
Tim is a senior research and technical scientist based at NOC for over 35 years. Having been on over 50 cruises he has a lot of experience in the various types of equipment used at sea. He is an expert in acoustic mapping from acquisition and processing to classification and interpretation.
Gareth is a Marine Geoscientist with The British Geological Survey, with an interest in Engineering Geology & Geohazards. He has contributed to previous research around the Whittard Canyon, with a primary focus on canyon rock wall stability and erosional processes influencing the canyon wall morphology. He is looking forward to collaborating on more geologically-focused projects through JC237!
I am a sedimentologist specialising in the dynamics of seafloor sediment avalanches. On this cruise I will be collecting sediment cores to better understand sediment transport and the distribution of microplastics and organic carbon within the canyon.
I’m a marine ecologist with a keen interest in the collection of acoustic data (from the ship, Autosub 5, or the ISIS ROV), as well as imagery, that can be used as ground-truthing for the habitat maps (especially those I’m producing right now for the iAtlantic project). Given the breadth of activities on this expedition, I’m also acting as the co-PI for this cruise to help support Veerle and to provide some redundancy should the dreaded COVID strike before the cruise. I’ll be particularly excited to see the eDNA sampler (RoCSI) working and to watch the many hours of ROV footage we’ll hopefully collect with ISIS: I’m less excited about the night watch.
Catherine Wardell is a member of the Seafloor Ecosystems team at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK. Catherine specialises in acoustic mapping and has extensive experience in offshore data acquisition and processing. She is also undertaking a part-time PhD studying and interpreting high resolution sidescan sonar data collected using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) as well as studying the evolution of several UK marine protected areas. During JC237 she will be studying both shipboard and AUV acoustic data, helping plan Autosub5 AUV missions, getting muddy with the megacore and learning some biology with the ISIS ROV.
I am a marine geologist from OGS (National Institution of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics). My research focuses on submarine canyons, slope failures, fluid/gas seeps, seismogenic faults, and the potential hazard they may represent for coastal areas or marine infrastructures. I have a specific interest in canyon dynamics and processes responsible for canyon walls erosion through time. This is my first time sailing the Whittard canyon and I will contribute to this cruise by helping in selecting ROV targets for drill sampling the wall of the canyon to try to understand slope stability along the different formations incised by the canyon from shallow water to the deep basin.
Nathan Hubot has recently joined the Ocean, Technology & Engineering research group within the NOC Southampton as a Molecular Ecologist. He will be working with the new eDNA autosampler (RoCSI).
Lisa is an early-career researcher from Cape Town, South Africa, with a background in marine ecology. She is currently completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the South African National Biodiversity Institute, where she works on a broad range of pressures faced by local marine ecosystems. Prior to this, she has spent some years working in marine industry as an environmental consultant and remains involved in several projects. Her research to date has focused on biotic interactions, invasive species, invertebrate biology, and broader-scale ecosystem assessments. Lisa has recently moved into the field of submarine canyon research and hopes to advance this work in South Africa in the future.
Luis will be assisting on the cruise as NOC Volunteer within the framework of the CLASS berth Programme for early career marine scientists. He just graduated from a Master of Science from the University of Edinburgh, where he focused on habitat mapping of deep-sea ecosystems. Right after the cruise, he will start his PhD on the carbon budget of cold-water corals in the Atlantic.
I’m Josh Tate and will be joining the cruise as a benthic biologist and Marine Mammal Observer. I work for the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) where my primary role involves planning and undertaking our offshore MPA monitoring surveys.