Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil
Since I started my undergraduate course in Oceanography in southern Brazil I wanted to study corals, but was unaware at the time of their presence in the region. That’s when I found out about corals living in the deep sea, as colleagues started to bring samples from fishing by-catch in southern Brazil. Following graduation I studied deep-sea octocoral taxonomy in my masters and worked on shallow-water coral reefs in NE Brazil, mostly habitat mapping, as I developed my Ph.D. thesis in Geosciences, working with bathymetry, geomorphology, species distribution and data set design. After Ph.D. completion I returned to work on the deep sea, working on habitat characterization through ROV images in unexplored deep-sea coral areas and rodolith beds off Brazil, where I had the opportunity to collect octocoral specimens that occur associated with deep-sea corals ecosystems. As part of the iAtlantic project I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) working mostly on deep-water coral taxonomy and identification, species distribution and deep-sea coral habitat characterization in the target areas off Brazil.
Kelsey Archer Barnhill
University of Edinburgh, UK
After researching tropical corals for my Masters in Tropical Ecology and Management of Natural Resources at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, I made the dive to deep sea ecology for my PhD. As a member of University of Edinburgh’s Changing Oceans Research Group, my research connects the work of iAtlantic to the Global Challenges Research Fund’s One Ocean Hub. My research focuses on triple stressor impacts on the habitat-building cold-water coral, Lophelia pertusa. Using laboratory mesocosms to run year-long experiments on live corals and coral skeletons, my work will allow scientists to better understand physiological and structural responses of L. pertusa to ocean acidification, warming, and deoxygenation. Through combining the results of these experiments with analysis of ROV footage to quantify reef Alive:Dead ratios I aim to create carbonate budget models to predict reef futures in projected ocean scenarios.
Instituto do Mar, Azores
After completing an Environmental Science degree at the University of Miguel Hernández (Elche), I moved into the marine biology field due to my passion for the ocean. In 2018, I started an internship with the deep-sea ecology research team at IMAR / Okeanos, on Faial island (Azores). My activities within the group mainly relate to fauna annotation of deep-sea underwater images recorded in seamounts of the
Azores, also providing assistance in building visual catalogues to improve the identification of benthic fauna. I also collaborate in surveys and oceanographic cruises during summer months to collect new underwater footage that will be used to better understand the diversity and distribution of Azores deep-sea habitats.
Instituto Do Mar, Azores
I am an early career researcher, interested in marine ecology and conservation. My research has been centred on studying spatial and temporal dynamics of marine food-webs through ecosystem modelling. I am particularly keen on understanding how deep-sea and open-ocean ecosystems respond to fishing pressures, climate change and to spatial management strategies, such as marine protected areas. Within the scope of iAtlantic, my PhD research proposes to identify priority areas for conservation and blue growth in the Atlantic Ocean; and to evaluate the effectiveness of marine protected areas under a range of future conditions scenarios induced by fishing and climate-change in the Atlantic Ocean.
Scottish Association for Marine Science, UK
I am an early career researcher in physical oceanography at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban, Scotland. I did my PhD on changes in ocean currents and oxygen in the tropical Atlantic Ocean at GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany. My current research focuses on the variability of the entire Atlantic Ocean on seasonal to longer time scales. I am investigating how and why temperature, salinity and oxygen are changing. These changes can be caused for example by variations of the large ocean currents like the Gulf Stream or through changes in the wind condition above the ocean. For my investigations I am using observational data as well as model simulations. I would like to find out which process is most important for changes in temperature, salinity and oxygen individually for each iAtlantic region. This knowledge is crucial to detect and predict tipping points of ecosystems within these regions.
Laurence De Clippele
University of Edinburgh, UK
Patterns are found in many forms in the natural world. As a marine ecologist, I am particularly interested in the ecological patterns of cold-water coral reef organisms. By studying these patterns, I aim to improve our understanding of these complex ecosystems, which will ultimately help us protect them against human impacts and climate change. During the iAtlantic project, I will study the distribution, morphology and ecosystem function of Brazilian and Icelandic cold-water coral reefs, for which I will create habitat and predictive maps. I am also passionate about building a stronger relationship, and two-way dialogue, between science and society, via art-science interactions and public engagement activities.
Danielle De Jonge
Heriot-Watt University, UK
My research is focused on how abyssal benthic (=seafloor) ecosystem functioning will react to multiple environmental stressors. Climate change and human activities are predicted to alter the biogeochemistry of seawater, for example the temperature, organic matter quality and quantity, pH (acidity) and oxygen concentration. This may impact ecosystem functioning, which can be measured, for example, as carbon cycling rates and bioturbation activity. Firstly, I will study how ecosystem functioning varies naturally across environmental gradients by studying sites with different environmental conditions. Secondly, I will experimentally assess the effect of altered seawater biogeochemistry on abyssal sediments with shipboard incubation experiments.
I am a Dutch marine biologist with a background in spatial ecological analyses, mathematical modeling, and metabarcoding, and I have experience with working in deep-sea ecosystems. Anyone with an interest in or questions about my research is welcome to get in touch!
Instituto do Mar, Azores
My current research aims to better understand the diversity and ecology of deep-sea benthic communities in the Azores region using underwater images. I previously worked at the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) of Barcelona, where I participated in several projects that explored unknown areas of the Mediterranean continental shelf and submarine canyons using marine technology (ROVs and submarines). After finishing my PhD, I joined IMAR in the Azores to take part in several projects that aimed to characterise the benthic fauna of seamounts and island slopes.
My goal is to better understand the ecological processes behind the spatial distribution of marine benthic fauna at different scales, from small patches to the whole Azores region, to inform managers and policy makers. I am also collaborating on the development of low-cost custom-made video devices to increase our capacity to explore deep-sea areas with limited budgets.
University of the Western Cape, South Africa
I am a marine ecologist interested in the functioning of nearshore kelp forests in South Africa, primarily through the application of stable isotope ecology. I completed a PhD at the University of Cape Town in 2018, which focused on the trophic ecology of South African kelp forests. As part of my postdoctoral research at the University of the Western Cape, I am investigating the trophic coupling of coastal kelp forests and nearshore pelagic food webs. Within the iAtlantic framework, I aim to investigate the export, and trophic importance, of kelp-derived material from the coastal zone of South Africa to deep sea environments in the south-east Atlantic. This knowledge will contribute to our understanding of the importance of kelp forest ecosystems in the marine environment.
National Oceanography Centre, UK
I am postdoctoral researcher in the Ocean Technology and Engineering Group at NOC where I am currently working on the development of biogenomic sensing and sampling technology. I received my PhD at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, UK in 2018 and my expertise lies primarily in marine microbiology with a focus on biogeochemical cycling and molecular biology. My research interests also include coupling advances in technology with environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis for biodiversity monitoring of vulnerable ecosystems.
For iAtlantic, as part of the iMirabilis cruise we will deploy our autonomous eDNA sampler in a deep diving autonomous underwater vehicle for the first time. Ultimately, this allows sampling at a higher resolution in both space and time. My first research cruise was to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in 2009 during the ECOMAR project and I am happy to be returning to the Atlantic Ocean once again.
Camila Fernanda da Silva
University of Sao Paolo, Brazil
I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Deep-Sea Ecology and Evolution Laboratory at the Oceanographic Institute of the University of Sao Paulo (IO/USP), Brazil. My background is in marine biology and ecology, focused on the benthic macrofauna. I worked with the population biology of a bivalve species and with the community structure of annelid polychaetes. However, during the last seven years I have been working on polychaete systematics of shallow-water organisms. Now I am really happy to be diving into the amazing world of the deep sea. In iAtlantic I will work on the deep-sea macrofauna of Santos Basin off SE Brazil (study area 10), where we will map and characterise deep-sea benthic ecosystems, studying the biodiversity, biology, and biogeography of the fauna, in order to contribute to the overall aim of the iAtlantic project.
Merishka Lauren Fester
University of Western Cape
I am an early career researcher from South Africa with an interest in ecology and ecophysiology. I am currently pursuing my MSc through the University of the Western Cape in association with iAtlantic. My MSc is an ecophysiological project that will look at the impacts of multiple environmental stressors on the physiological processes of deep-sea copepods in a Norwegian fjord.
I obtained my BSc in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology (combination of zoology and botany) in 2017 from the University of the Western Cape. I majored in Marine Biology during my Honours which I obtained in 2018 – my mini thesis looked at the presence of invasive and cryptogenic hydroids in a Namibian harbour. I recently completed a two year Biodiversity internship with our governmental Department of Environmental Affairs where I participated in a number of research surveys, biodiversity cruises and ecophysiological experiments and was exposed to MPA workshops and other environmental legislation and policy-making processes.
I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Chemical Oceanography at GEOMAR, investigating the dynamics of the marine carbon cycle in the eastern tropical North Atlantic off Western Africa. Together with African partners, I have established biogeochemical ocean time-series measurements near Cabo Verde and am currently overseeing the scientific coordination of the CVOO observatory here. Currently, I am also involved in the organisation of the WASCAL master research programme “Climate Change and Marine Sciences” which is hosted at the Universidade Técnica do Atlântico (UTA) in Cabo Verde. I am a member of the scientific steering group for the International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP) and responsible for ocean time-series efforts therein. In iAtlantic, together with my colleague Helena Hauss, I will compile existing ecological, biogeochemical and physical time-series data from CVOO for assessment, and be involved in organising two capacity development workshops in Cabo Verde in 2021.
University of Edinburgh, UK
I am a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, studying the impacts of disturbance on whale populations. Specifically, I assess the potential impacts of whale watching activities on humpback whales in North Iceland. This allows me to gain an in-depth understanding of local systems, whilst working with communities to find potential solutions. iAtlantic provides the perfect opportunity to assess marine mammal populations on a far larger scale. I have two roles in the project. First, I will reconstruct abundance trends for migrating humpback whales passing through Bermuda, a key stopover for humpbacks across the North Atlantic. Second, I will investigate environmental drivers of humpback sightings around Iceland and the wider Northeast Atlantic. Ultimately, I hope to predict how these populations may change in the future, in response to oceanographic shifts. This basin-scale research will place a broader context for local case studies, in Iceland and beyond, to improve prediction of, and protection for, whale populations.
I am a biological oceanographer interested in the distribution, growth and metabolism of planktonic organisms in relation to environmental drivers as well as food web interactions in the pelagic realm. Although I am an ecologist by training, I nevertheless try to keep in mind how organisms also shape their environment and how they impact biogeochemical cycles. In iAtlantic, I will work on the Cape Verde Ocean Observatory (CVOO) time series as well as conducting experiments with Periphylla periphylla in Norway using different stressors.
University of Edinburgh, UK
Through my research I have studied the biology and ecology of species and habitats ranging from the shallow waters in the Mediterranean to the Arctic and North Atlantic deep seas. Currently, my work focuses on the impacts of human activities and climate change on the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (e.g. food webs) of cold-water coral reefs, coral mounds, and deep-sea sponge aggregations. As a Post-Doctorate Research Associate in the H2020 ATLAS project I had also the opportunity to expand my skills and knowledge on the science-policy interface. There I co-led an international group of experts facilitating the implementation of the European Commission’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive in the deep North Atlantic. As I enjoy spreading the word about marine science and the challenges that our Planet is facing, I often get involved in public engagement events.
University College Cork, Ireland
I am a Marine Geoscientist with interests in habitat mapping, sedimentary processes and geomatics/GIS. After receiving my PhD in 2017, I continued my research as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geoscience (UCC) and the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (UCC). I have participated in over 15 research cruises (chief scientist on four) and I’m Principal Investigator on a number of research projects.
My current research uses image data acquired by remotely operated vehicles (ROV’s) to generate 3D reconstructions of cold water coral habitats in the Porcupine Bank Canyon, NE Atlantic. In addition, I use seabed monitoring systems deployed via ROV to determine active processes within these habitats. These datasets are being analysed to quantify cold water coral habitat variability and to determine the drivers of this variability.
Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Spain
I hold a BSc in Geology and I completed an MSc in Marine and Environmental Geology at the University of Vigo, Spain, where I studied the sedimentology and morpho-hydrodynamics of a beach located in northern Spain. Afterwards, I earned my PhD in Earth Sciences at the University of Zaragoza, Spain, which focused on Late Cretaceous planktonic foraminifera and their applications in biostratigraphy and palaeoceanography. After my PhD I was employed as a stratigrapher at a geological consultancy firm based in North Wales, UK. In that role I undertook micropalaeontological analysis in order to date marine sediments and infer palaeoenvironmental settings. I also collaborated on the updating, reinterpretation and standardisation of large volumes of historical geological data, with the aim of creating a modern and comprehensive database system.
As part of the iAtlantic, I will be working as a GIS specialist at the Instituto Español de Oceanografía. This will involve the acquisition and management of geoscientific information, mapping benthic habitats, and undertaking the processing and quantitative analysis of submarine video images.
I am an evolutionary ecologist, with a deep interest in population and landscape genetics and a special focus on population conservation and management. I am thus studying the complex interactions between genetics, spatial heterogeneity, species movements and population persistence. I use genetics and genomics data coupled with environmental and spatial ones to determine which elements are impacting gene flow. I am also interested in the links between phenotypes and genotypes. I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the IFREMER (French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea), studying genetic connectivity and demographic history of hydrothermal vents gastropods and shrimps species, using Next-Generation Sequencing approaches. Using similar approaches I am also working in collaboration with the station biologique de Roscoff (CNRS) where I will pursue my postdoctoral project, thanks to iAtlantic funding, studying Bathymodiolus spp. of hydrothermal and other chemosynthetic environments.
Before joining the field of marine ecology, I was more a terrestrial girl since I worked on spatial genetic structure and its interaction with parasitism in Mediterranean mouflon during my PhD (completed in 2018) and studied their phylogeny in parallel of European wildcats landscape genetics during my first postdoctoral position at the university of Lyon.
University of the Azores, Portugal
I studied General Biology in Greece, and later followed an Erasmus MSc program in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. I have been studying cold-water corals ever since, focusing on their physiology, reproduction and larval biology. My PhD project aims at determining the impacts of climate change, especially acidification, on several stages of the life of these animals, from early larvae to reproductive adults. It addresses several aspects of their biology, including feeding biology, resource allocation strategies, larvae physiology and behaviour, contributing to a better understanding of the ecology and function of these enigmatic ecosystems.
Instituto do Mar, Azores
I am a benthic marine ecologist based at IMAR / Okeanos in the Azores. I am currently doing my PhD thesis on the diversity and distribution patterns of benthic megafauna, mainly Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem indicator species, along the extended Azorean continental shelf. My work aims to highlight the possible biological diversity linkages and/or differences between the Atlantis-Meteor Seamount Complex and the Azores Triple Junction using different geomorphogical features (guyots and seamount ridges) as case studies. I am thereby also collaborating with my team helping in the development of management support tools, such as coral and sponge ID guides, specimen identifications from past and current expeditions and upgrading deep-sea classification systems for the Azores (e.g. EUNIS).
Universidade do Vale do Itajaí, Brazil
I have a bachelor degree in Oceanography and MSc in Environmental Science and Technology. Currently, I am a doctoral student at University of Vale do Itajaí, where I also teach statistics. I specialise in statistical methods and focus my research on oceanography and marine ecology, with an emphasis in marine fisheries and stock assessment. Recent experiences include applications of Bayesian spatial and temporal models to wild populations and fishing resources.
In iAtlantic, I intend to compile and organise the spatial and temporal pelagic and demersal fisheries datasets, evaluate the spatial and temporal changes in population biomass, analyse long-term changes in species composition (pelagic fish, demersal fish, crustaceans and cephalopods) and try to correlate these possible changes with climatic and/or oceanographic variations as well as assessing quantitative models that could be used to predict species distributions and the possible long term changes in these distributions.
University of Western Cape, South Africa
I am a postdoc fellow, focused on the development and application of machine learning methods to understand the physical drivers of ocean temperature extreme events known as marine heatwaves (MHWs). I began my PhD at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, with the intention of studying the effects of temperature anomalies on kelp forests. Through this pursuit I learned about MHWs and quickly understood the value of this emerging subject from both scientific and science communication perspectives. In order to more fully pursue MHWs I pivoted away from ecology and into a data science space. Time not spent writing is now mostly dominated for me with scientific software and operational web application development… all in the pursuit of the better understanding, visualising, and communicating of MHWs and their role in the future ocean.
I am an early career researcher at GEOMAR in Germany. My research is to transform imagery into scientific data. I apply methods of machine learning and image processing to monitor the oceans. The focus lies on the exploration and exploitation of big data archives of 2D and 3D images of benthic and pelagic images. I also go to sea and deploy deep-diving robots to acquire new high-resolution imagery. I particularly like to work at the interface between different disciplines: biology, geology, etc. to provide method-expertise on machine learning to various natural science partners. This allows me to participate in many different research projects and to work together with many inspiring colleagues.
Since my bachelor studies at the University of Kiel I have been working with numerical ocean models. Now as a PhD student at the GEOMAR Institute in Kiel, I’m developing a new model configuration explicitly designed to study the interhemispheric connectivity of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). The AMOC transports warm surface water northwards and cold water to the
south at depth throughout the whole Atlantic. Therefore, the AMOC connects both hemisphere and has important consequences for the distribution of heat, salt and trace gases in the Atlantic Ocean. Changes of the AMOC may arise from changes in the South or North Atlantic with unknown relative importance and interactions. My studies also involve the tracking of large numbers of virtual particles that may represent water masses or individual biological species.
I am a geoscientist and have a Masters degree in geoinformatics with specialisation in hydrography. Currently, I am working at GEOMAR in Kiel, in the group led by Prof. Dr. Colin Devey. Anything related to GIS, creating maps, collecting hydro-acoustic data, especially focussed on multibeam bathymetry, is my mission. A deep and comprehensive knowledge about the sea floor is crucial as it is closely related to life existing down there, even in the deepest parts of the ocean. Hence, I am also trying to advance semi-automatic seabed habitat classification techniques to understand the dynamics of local flora and fauna, in the hope that, in the future, a vast amount of the ocean will be under protection from human impacts.
University of Edinburgh, UK
I am a marine biologist, studying how deep-sea ecosystems including sponge grounds and cold-water coral reefs function. I am particularly interested in the analysis of complex and large datasets, for example, derived from seabed image analysis or RNA sequencing to determine the impacts at different biological scales (from the habitat to the individual) of environmental changes caused by human activities. Within iAtlantic, my main focus will be to compile and analyse ecological data from Canada and Bermuda gathered over extensive time periods.
My background is in marine biology and ecology. After receiving a Bachelor in Biology in 2011, I obtained a Master in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2014 from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, and the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris (France). I then carried out a PhD in Marine biology at Heriot-Watt University studying how oil and gas production affects cold-water sponges and the habitats they form in the North East Atlantic. Since December 2018, I have been working as a researcher at the University of Edinburgh within the ATLAS project studying deep-sea sponge grounds both in Scotland and in the Davis Strait. Last year, I also became the UK All-Atlantic Youth Ambassador and I am keen to encourage open data sharing.
Loïc Van Audenhaege
My PhD project aims to characterise the temporal dynamics and the spatial distribution of the fauna inhabiting the hydrothermal vent field of Lucky Strike (Azores, Portugal). In the deep sea, hydrothermal ecosystems are very particular since they host rare biological assemblages relying mostly on the energy released from the geological activity of the site. These lush ecosystems are therefore unique because they do not use the sun as their primary energy source like almost all the other communities. Because of the release of hydrothermal fluid gradually mixing with the regular water of the Atlantic Ocean, these environments also provide a heterogeneous and relatively toxic environment in which these organisms must survive and actually, often thrive. Since they are threatened by the deep-sea mining, it is vital we fully understand the functioning and ecological dynamics of hydrothermal communities before any exploitation activities begin. I will participate in the MoMARSAT research expedition to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in July 2020, where I will be responsible for the image acquisition that will be used to map habitats and distribution of vent fauna, and assist with deploying environmental monitoring technologies around the vent site.
Daniela Yepes Gaurisas
Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil
I am a Colombian biologist and PhD student at the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES) in Vitória, Brazil. I am a deep-sea lover with a great interest in taxonomy and ecology of deep-sea benthos. I worked on deep-sea brittle stars systematics during my Masters at UNAM, México, and on taxonomy and ecology of deep-sea and sandy beach macrofauna from the Caribbean Sea at the INVEMAR institute in Colombia. The deep ocean is the large ecosystem on earth and the least studied; it is closely linked to global processes between the ocean and atmosphere, with special importance for climate regulation and the cycle of matter and energy on the planet. In iAtlantic we will explore the deep-sea fauna from Atlantic Ocean that lives inside the sediment at 500-2000m depth, to study how climate change is impacting benthic ecosystems, and identifying and quantifying the effects of these changes on benthic ecological processes.