News: Analysis Phase [2005]

Marine mammals conference
The MAR-ECO project in general and the marine mammal part in particular received a lot of attention on a big conference on Biology of Marine Mammals. Four scientists and one student represented MAR-ECO on this conference, which was held recently in San Diego. [27.12.05]
Marine mammals conference
Shrimp Cocktails at the laboratory!
At a workshop in the beginning of this month, the most conspicuous elements in the catch of mesopelagic trawls, the orange-red decapod shrimps, were analysed. Pelagic shrimps are predators or omnivores, and can utilize various kinds of food. They also play a significant role as food of fish and marine mammals. [22.12.05]
Shrimp Cocktails at the laboratory!
Krill on the MAR
Student profile: Krill (Euphausiacea) are typical and abundant members of macrozooplankton, but their abundance and distribution remain poorly known even in the Atlantic Ocean. Bsc-student Tom Bech Letessier has analysed krill-samples from the 2004 "G.O Sars"-expedition! [07.12.05]
Krill on the MAR
”G.O. Sars” honoured
When the Norwegian Minister of Fisheries visited RV ”G.O. Sars” last week, the captain and crew was awarded a plaque for ”outstanding contribution to the success of the Census of Marine Life”. This was a well deserved acknowledgement for their good effort during the MAR-ECO expedition in 2004. [[02.12.05]
”G.O. Sars” honoured
Good progress in Russia
Several Russian scientists have during the year visited Norway to work on the MAR-ECO materials. Recently, the project leader Odd Aksel Bergstad visited Moscow, where he among else could see the MAR-ECO activities at laboratories for zooplankton, benthos, and ichthyology. [17.11.05]
Good progress in Russia
ECOMAR
A UK MAR-ECO consortium project was recently funded. ECOMAR- Ecosystem of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at the Sub-Polar Front and Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone will start October 2006. [16.11.05]
ECOMAR
A timeline
The sea-surface, the horizon and the sky. Every day during her 30 days on board the RV G.O.Sars cruise last summer, the journalist Gry Molvær photographed these three motives. Together, they make a timeline from the mid-Atlantic Ridge. [26.10.05]
A timeline
Mid-ocean biodiversity
Strategies and methodologies for assessing the state of the biodiversity in open ocean pelagic sites was the theme for the MAR-ECO scientists who met in Bergen for MARBEF workshop. [24.10.05]
Mid-ocean biodiversity
Science Communicator’s Award to Nikki
Nicola King, PhD -student at Oceanlab, University of Aberedeen, UK, was recently awarded the Science Communicator’s Award from the Researcher in Recidence initiative based at the Centre for Science Education at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. [21.10.05]
Science Communicator’s Award to Nikki
Dive with a submarine!
Would you like to dive with a submarine into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean? The invitation comes from Bergen Aquarium in Norway, which recently opened their simulator ”Akvarius U-632”. In this look-alike submarine, videos from deep-sea expeditions like MAR-ECO are being featured. [18.10.05]
Dive with a submarine!
Deeper than the light
By combining photography, video, scientific illustrations, biological samples and artistic paintings, the new MAR-ECO exhibition in the Norwegian city Kristiansand, gives an impression of life “deeper than the light”. [06.09.05]
Deeper than the light
Integrating multiple data sources, using GIS
[15.09.05] A large amount of new data is generated by MAR-ECO. Using their own methods, specialists gain new exiting information from the datasets. But even more information can be found when combining information from different dataset - like combining depth and fish catches might reveal that some fish species prefer deep water.
Integrating multiple data sources, using GIS
MAR-ECO exhibition on the Azores
[07.09.05] The paintings of Ørnulf Opdahl and the photos by David Shale, both made on last summers MAR-ECO expedition, has this summer travelled from Iceland to the Azores. Horta, which was the port of call of RV G.O.Sars and MS Loran, is now the exhibit-arena.
MAR-ECO exhibition on the Azores
An island involved in MAR-ECO
[05.09.05] Godoy, a small island on the coast of mid-Norway, enjoys a special relationship with MAR-ECO. One of the leaders of the 2004 MAR-ECO expedition, the artist Opdahl, and the longliner MS Loran with its crew were either born and raised on the island or live there. This weekend the local participants on the expedition shared their experiences with the rest of the islanders who were eager to learn more and see results.
An island involved in MAR-ECO
Benthologists studying octocorals and echinoids
[31.08.05] The russian benthologists Tina Molodtsova and Kiril Minin from P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, who has special interest in respectively octocorals and echninoid, visited Bergen Museum for two weeks, where they examined collections from the 2004 MAR-ECO expedition on the RV G.O.Sars.
Benthologists studying octocorals and echinoids
Deep-sea fish taxonomy and systematics continued
[10.08.05] MAR-ECO scientists might have found a new species of Lycodonus belonging to the eelpouts (family Zoarcidae). The four specimens that were caught during the "G.O. Sars" cruise in 2004 differs from the two species known from the north Atlantic.
Deep-sea fish taxonomy and systematics continued
Biology and distribution patterns
[19.07.05] The often odd looking deep-sea fishes reflect their special adaptation to the deep-sea environment. Where do they occur? How fast do they grow? How old do they get? These are among the questions asked by the "Student of the month" Inge Fossen.
Biology and distribution patterns
One year later...
[21.06.05] Last summer the RV G.O. Sars and the MS Loran, was off for the major campaign along the mid-Atlantic Ridge. One year later, MAR-ECO scientists gathered in Lisbon for a field phase workshop, to present, discuss, and plan the exploratory efforts.
One year later...
Documentary from the 2004 MAR-ECO expedition
[13.05.05] In "The Ocean land", a 59 min international TV-documentary produced by the Norwegian public channel NRK, the viewer meets the artist Ørnulf Opdahl and scientists from 13 nations while exploring the animal life along the mid-Atlantic Ridge between Iceland and the Azores in 2004.
Documentary from the 2004 MAR-ECO expedition
Tagging whales
[11.05.05] Do large baleen whales use the mid-Atlantic Ridge as a migration corridor? In the Azorean waters in April, MAR-ECO scientists from Norway and Portugal put satellite tags on one large adult blue whale and three sei whales - and now we can follow their route...
Tagging whales
MAR-ECO exhibition on Iceland
[03.05.05] The artist Ørnulf Opdahl and the photographer David Shale, both participants on the RV G.O. Sars cruise last summer, has opened exhibitions in the Nordic House in Reykjavik, Iceland.
MAR-ECO exhibition on Iceland
The distribution of Lophogastrida
[02.05.05] The unique material and data collected by MAR-ECO on the mid-Atlantic Ridge are being analysed by numerous post-graduate students. In "Student of the month" Pål Øyvind Aas from the University of Bergen (Norway) is presenting his work on the distribution of Lophogastrida (Crustacea) along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
The distribution of Lophogastrida
Tagging large baleen whales
[20.04.05] MAR-ECO scientists from Norway and Portugal are on a mission to satellite tag and collect genetic samples of large baleen whales, as these whales appear in Azorean waters in April during their northbound migration.
Tagging large baleen whales
Analyses pictures of deep-sea life
[14.04.05] Studying animals in their natural environment is difficult enough but when the animal you are interested in lives deep at the bottom of the sea under really high pressure AND with no light, it makes it particularly challenging!
Analyses pictures of deep-sea life
A world of biodiversity
[13.04.05] During the last six months, a number of scientists from different nations have been busy with the identification work of zooplankton in samples from the MAR-ECO cruise on RV G.O. Sars in 2004.
A world of biodiversity
New species of sea cucumbers
[07.04.05] At least four new species of sea cucumbers (holothurians) has been discovered among the extensive collection of benthic invertebrates gathered on the G.O. Sars cruise last summer. One of these new species is a beautiful red-coloured holothurian, with unusually long papillae on its back.
New species of sea cucumbers
Bottom-living top predators
[04.04.05] Results from the longlinger MS Loran shows that chondrichthyans, it means sharks, skates, rays, and chimeras, dominated the catch by a large margin. It is inferred therefore that this group of fishes are the most abundant top predators of the benthic realm of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
Bottom-living top predators
A mystery is solved
[29.03.05] The remarkable red worm discovered by MAR-ECO scientists turns out to belong to a completely new family. In fact it is not a worm, as they initially thought, but an “enteropneust” that has more in common with vertebrate. An article in a recent issue of “Nature” solves the mystery.
A mystery is solved
Treasure hunt in MAR-ECO material
[10.03.05] The material gathered by the MAR-ECO expedition last summer contains a wealth of hidden treasures. We are continually discovering something new”, reveals Odd Aksel Bergstad. The project manager says that preparing the materials, receiving visiting scientists, holding seminars and recruiting students have kept the scientists busy.
Treasure hunt in MAR-ECO material
Jellies - challenging objects to study
[16.03.05] Imagine trying to use a net to haul lumps of jelly unharmed through water for hundreds, or even thousands, of meters... Student of the month, Aino Hosia, took the challenge to study gelatinous zooplankton. "The preference given to hardier organisms means that lots of interesting questions about jellies remain unanswered", she writes.
Jellies - challenging objects to study
Fish identification
[01.03.05] Rare findings and promising results are the conclusions after the first MAR-ECO Fish Taxonomy workshop, where three major groups were studied; the families of the rattails or grenadiers, the slickheads and the deep-sea eels.
Fish identification
Food for thought. What do deep-sea fish have for dinner?
[01.03.05] Are the dinners of the mid-Atlantic Ridge especially tasty? By studying the diet of the roundnose grenadier, we can learn more about the foodwebs and ecology of the mid-Atlantic Ridge, writes Guro Gjelsvik – our “student of the month”.
Food for thought. What do deep-sea fish have for dinner?
Russians studies deep-sea glass sponges and asteroids
[28.02.05] 15 different species of glass sponges was collected from the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone. They have now been examined of the Russian expert in this field, Konstantin Tabachnick, together with Allen Collins from USA – and they suspect at least two of the species to be new.
Russians studies deep-sea glass sponges and asteroids
The longline experience in the deep
[10.02.05] Using 87 500 hooks, fishing to depths ranging from 450 to 4 300 metres, the longline vessel M/S Loran caught 8 800 specimens during their cruise along the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Among the 50 different fish species, the biggest was a 4.5 metres long Greenland shark.
The longline experience in the deep
A picture is worth a thousand words…
[14.02.05] Nicola King and Monty Priede, Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen, work with landers that carry cameras down to the deep seafloor to photograph deep-sea scavenging fish in their natural environment. Studying animals in their natural environment is difficult enough but when the animal you are interested in lives deep at the bottom of the sea under really high pressure AND with no light, it makes it particularly challenging! So read further to discover just how Oceanlab do it…
A picture is worth a thousand words…
Exloring south of the MAR
[04.02.05] To date, the only known and studied hydrothermal sites in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) are found north of the Equator, between 14º and 38ºN. From 17. February to 5. March, scientists from the ChEss-project will be off for an exploration cruise to find new vent sites in the MAR south of the equator - an area that still remains a virgin area for exploration. Their project and cruise diary can be followed online!
Exloring south of the MAR
Exploring the Antarctic deep sea
[03.02.05] CeDAMar (The Census of the Diversity of Abyssal Marine Life), one of the research projects within the Census of Marine Life Programme, went off in late January to explore the Antarctic deep sea. During the next two months the researchers will be writing a cruise log online - so log on and join their expedition virtually.
Exploring the Antarctic deep sea
Schools working with MAR-ECO projects
[02.02.05] Several schools has been inspired by the MAR-ECO project. By using the resource from the website, they have started their own projects. Art, biology and tecnhology are among the different topics chosen. In Scotland, the MAR-ECO scientist Nicola King has tutored students doing scientific research based on MAR-ECO.
Schools working with MAR-ECO projects
Analysing top predators at the MAR
[20.01.05] The PN3 group on Top Predators, held a workshop in Reykjavik, Iceland, 11-15 January 2005. Preliminary analyses of seabird and marine mammal sighting data from the 2004 G.O. Sars cruise were presented, discussed and further analysed at the workshop.
Analysing top predators at the MAR