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Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
and physiology to aquaculture, marine spatial planning and conservation.

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CMBB’s EcoLophelia project underway in Sweden

ROV Lophelia

CMBB researchers have begun a new project to study cold-water corals in Swedish and Norwegian waters. The CMBB team (Andrea Gori, Sebastian Hennige, Murray Roberts and Watt PhD student Laurence de Clippele) are working with Dr Cova Orejas from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography through the EU's Assemble programme

The project is using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to survey a series of deep-water coral reefs in the Skagerrak region of the North Sea between Sweden and Norway. These areas have been intensively surveyed over the last decade by Tomas Lundälv from The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences and offer a uniquely detailed record of change in an ecosystem where repeat surveys are almost never undertaken because they are so remote and hard to access. In the image above, Tomas Lundälv, Murray Roberts and Cova Orejas deploy the Sven Lovén Centre's Sperre Sub-fighter 7500DC ROV. 

As well as completing work at sea, the team will work with small colonies of live corals in the laboratory to understand how the coral structure influences small-scale patterns of flow and oxygen uptake. Cold-water corals can develop elaborate deep-sea reef structures and understanding how their basic biology is essential to help predict their response to damage (e.g. from bottom trawling) and to global climate change.

Ship EcoLophelia

RV Lophelia

ROV footage of Lophelia

Tomas Lundälv piloting the ROV on board the Research Vessel Lophelia

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Returning to The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Science 

Lophelia reefs in Sweden

Lophelia reefs in Sweden

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