Mapping and characterizing enigmatic habitats in the last great wilderness on Earth


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Thu 17th Sep 2020
3 pm
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Speaker: Prof Andrew Davies (University of Rhode Island, Department of Biological Sciences)

The Pacific Ocean from space, showing the vast area covered by water. Image from NASA Blue Marble

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Abstract: The deep ocean is truly one of the most challenging and expensive habitats on earth to study. It requires a multi-disciplinary approach that bridges the scientific disciplines of physics, chemistry, geology and biology. Remote locations and crushing pressures at depth have hindered what we could achieve, but decades of advancements in technology and analytical tools have enabled novel discoveries. For much of the global ocean, and particularly the deep, the fundamental questions of where marine habitats occur, how abundant they are and how many species there are in a given area is poorly resolved or entirely unanswered. This poses challenges for science, management and conservation, who face increased demand for access to marine resources. In this seminar, we focus on addressing two seemingly simple questions:
1) can we locate functionally important species in the greatest wilderness on earth?
2) Can we identify and quantify the environmental conditions that drive their distributions?


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