We are examining biodiversity deep in the Antarctic Southern Ocean to understand how marine ecosystems may deal with future climate change.
This work uses DNA and morphology data from samples collected by the British Antarctic Survey BIOPEARL project from the West Antarctic.
High-latitude ecosystems, such as the Antarctic, experience extreme variation in productivity and food supply between seasons and years. By examining how marine ecosystems respond to these changes, we can test how they may respond to global change.
When our work is finished, it will be one of the largest benthic diversity datasets ever published for the region.
We are also combining this information with detailed taxonomic study to discover new species of polychaete worms.
Research Assistant Lenka Neal has already identified over 300 different species from the BIOPEARL collection of over 15,000 polychaete specimens. We are now analysing the genetic data and stable-isotope ratios of these worms to see how they disperse around Antarctica, and to look for evidence of cryptic speciation.
Deep-sea systematics and ecology research group
- Group overview
- Antarctic marine biodiversity and climate change
- Deep Sea ID - an app from the World Register of Deep-Sea Species
- Establishing biodiversity baselines in a UK deep-sea mining claim
- REX - the remotely operated vehicle for education and exploration
- Systematics and ecology of deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems