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New "DOO" web site

We have a new web site: for Deep-Ocean Observatories. For those of a technical bent, this is our first Joomla! web site. Joomla! is the content management system that will drive the new NOCS web site. Something those of us at NOCS will see and hear a lot more about in the months ahead.

In the news again !

Henry Ruhl contributed to the BBC Radio 4 Material World programme dealing with deep-ocean observatories following the "go live" of the Neptune Canada cabled network of observatories. For more on our observatory efforts see:
Deep-Ocean Observatories | Porcupine Abyssal Plain Observatory

DEEPSEAS Team in the news

Paul Tyler and Alan Hughes have been busy responding to various media enquiries following Census of Marine Life press release promoting new deep-sea species discoveries. Paul and Alan appeared on several TV news programmes. Alan also ventured on to BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio 4's flagship science programme 'Material World' (podcast available.

Deep-sea haggis discovered

Three new species of deep-sea haggii have been described (Protista, Rhizaria, Gromia) by a DEEPSEAS team. The new gromiids were discovered in the deep Weddell Sea (some 9,000 miles from the Scottish Highlands). Read more ...

Scottish haggis
Deep-sea gromiid

ABYSS2100 on the website

Supported by the Total Foundation, Abyss2100 investigates the effects of CO2, temperature and pressure on invertebrates to better understand deep-sea biodiversity in a world of climate change. Our Pressure Lab facilities can make a unique contribution in this field.

Climate change @ PAP ?

The possible impact of climate change at the PAP-SO site has been published in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (See abstract).

2009 a deep-ocean odyssey

Alan Hughes and Claudia Alt had an odyssey to Norway to join a MAR-ECO outreach event. Alan described benthic ecology to the invited schools audience and via a live web broadcast.

The Atlantic single-handed

A DEEPSEAS team of one is aboard RRS James Cook for Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) cruise 19. The first attempt at adding seafloor biology to the AMT, the SHRIMP camera system will study seafloor life at several sites on a North-South transect of the Atlantic Ocean. [AMT website]

Thar She Blows !

Blue whale sighted at PAP-SO! Although the "whale" was our logo for many years (1920s-1990s), we don't often report our whale sightings. The current cruise to the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory (PAP-SO) has made a confirmed (via the Sea Mammal Research Unit) sighting of a Blue Whale.


The RRS James Cook has set sail again. This time heading for the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone as part of the NERC-funded ECOMAR project with a DEEPSEAS Group team onboard. ECOMAR is part of the MAR-ECO project. You can follow their progress on the ECOMAR cruise diary.

PAP cruise - RRS Discovery 341

Back to the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP). This cruise will examine surface ocean, mid-water and seafloor processes, and service the PAP-Sustained Observatory system. This is our 20th year of operations at the PAP-SO site! For more information:
Classroom@sea | EuroSITES OUTREACH | PAP-SO website.

12th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium, Iceland

The symposium website is available as, registration will open in January 2010 on that homepage. Please remember to bookmark the link! The DEEPSEAS Team will see you there.

Whittard Canyon ROV cruise

A large DEEPSEAS Group team are onboard RRS James Cook for cruise 36, studying the geology and biology of the Whittard Canyon using the NOCS ROV Isis. You can follow the team's exploits via the Classroom@sea cruise diary page. This is our first cruise under the new EC-funded HERMIONE (Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Man's Impact on European Seas) project that follows on from the successful HERMES project. See also Leighton Rolley's blog (look for "JC036 BLOG" entries down right hand side).

HyBIS to the rescue

The hydraulic benthic interactive sampler (HyBIS), a DEEPSEAS and G&G development project, rescued a benthic lander during a trial of this new system. The lander, from Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, was located and grappled by HyBIS and safely dragged back to the surface.

Vents and seeps in the Southern Ocean

The ChEsSo cruise (RRS James Clark Ross 224) sets off 12 January 2009 with a DEEPSEAS team aboard - hunting for chemosynthetic communities around Antarctica. You can follow their progress via the CLASSROOM@SEA project website.

12th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium
7-11 June 2010, Askja, Reykjavik
Iceland / Lýðveldið Ísland

The next international gathering of deep-sea biologists is set to be in Iceland during 2010. Professor Jörundur Svavarsson of the Institute of Biology, University of Iceland has nobily agreed to take on the challenge. We wish him well. The venue is the stunning Askja building of the University of Iceland (Google Earth).

We hosted the last Symposium here in Southampton; if you would like to see what went on then - click here.

Benthic Crozet Meeting

NOCS hosted the latest Benthic Crozet project meeting. From DGGEs to demersal fish and data management there were 14 presentations - project partners can access copies of the presentations in the secure area of the project website. [More]

Angola Survey

A DEEPSEAS team, together with some old friends from SeaStar and Oceanlab, have recently returned from an environmental survey off Angola, carried out on behalf of BP.

ECOMAR cruise

The busy summer cruise season continues - with almost no break from the HERMES cruise a DEEPSEAS team is back aboard RRS James Cook for the first ECOMAR cruise. The team will be surveying and beginning biological investigations of four study areas around the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. A cruise diary is available.

HERMES cruise - Mud volcanoes and canyons

Immediately following the Isis trials cruise (see below) RRS James Cook began the HERMES cruise. Leg 1 investigated mud volcanoes in the Gulf of Cadiz, legs 2 and 3 studied canyons off Portugal and Ireland. Isis worked very well and we acquired some excellent images and video of a wide range of deep-sea organisms and undertake a number of novel in situ experiments (see cruise diary).

Isis Trials

Brian Bett and Ben Boorman sailed on RRS James Cook from NOC for ROV Isis trials prior to HERMES cruises (see above). The ROV and its new elevators were successfully tested at c. 4800m on the Biscay Abyssal Plain (see cruise diary).

AUV - Habitat Mapping

Building on our success in fitting a camera system to AUTOSUB, Dan Jones has won CASEE funding to use the Fetch AUV for habitat mapping. This is a collaboration with Professor Mark Patterson (Virginia Institute of Marine Science).


The Pressure Lab facilities are now up and running - ready for hyperbaric experiments ashore and at sea [...more]


The website for the Deep-ocean Long-term Observatory System is now live.

Isis 1st science mission

A DEEPSEAS Team are onboard RRS James Clark Ross in the Antarctic, taking part in the first science mission of the UK deep submergence remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Isis. You can follow events on the cruise diary page.

In the NEWS

SERPENT made the news, with Brian Bett interviewed on BBC Radio 4's lead science programme The Material World. The discussion also covered Census of Marine Life projects, including ChEss.

Old new faces

Good news for the group - we have two new 'permanent' members of staff: Dr Tammy Horton and Dr J. Alan Hughes. They are of course not new faces but old hands in the DEEPSEAS team. In the NERC side of the group, Tammy and Alan are our first new permanent members of staff in over 16 years! - a significant event indeed - we all wish them well.

James Cook

The James Cook has arrived in Southampton - there is still some fitting out and testing to be done - we hope to be aboard in May 2007 for the next of the HERMES cruises.

11th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium, Southampton, 2006 & BP Kongsberg Underwater Image Competition

Over 300 participants from 27 countries attended the 11th International Deep-Sea Biology Symposium in Southampton.

The symposium web site will stay open for some time to give access to participants list, the programme, the book of abstracts, symposium photographs etc etc

DSN page

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