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Kelp lines deployed in West Cork

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This work was conducted over two days in collaboration with Bantry Marine Research Station (BMRS) and facilitated by support by LCF Marine. As part of the work a total of eight longlines of 220m each were deployed which consisted of various experimental treatments. The lines will now be checked monthly to monitor growth and other response variables until their harvest in April/May.

Mesocosms on the Move!

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The E3 construction works at the Zoology building, and particularly the renovations of the basement, meant that a new home was needed for Zoology’s recently installed experimental platform of marine mesocosms (QIMS). Moving the mesocosms required a huge effort from contractors, Zoology technical staff and Dr Nessa O’Connor’s research group, and they are now at their new home in Park Lane, next to the Samuel Beckett Theatre.

QIMS (Quantifying the Impacts of Multiple Stressors) is an experimental platform used to test for effects of changing environmental conditions, such as those expected with climate change, on marine organisms. The system is comprised of 96 independent seawater tanks, which each hold 32 L seawater, that can be manipulated to investigate how the effects of multiple stressors, such as ocean warming and acidification, affect the structure and functioning of benthic marine species and model assemblages. The sophisticated control system allows users to control temperature and carbonate concentration in individual tanks and in combination with other factors such as nutrient levels can mimic a multitude of real-life scenarios in the tanks. At the moment, tests are being run to ensure that all tanks perform to the highest standards and an initial experiment with kelps (large brown seaweed) is planned for the new year.

If you are interested to find out more about the facility or would like to visit, please get in contact with our group.


Team Trained as Scientific Divers

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This course covered the training and proficiency necessary for subtidal research and was led by Kathryn Schoenrock (Zoology, NUI Galway). With this, our team plans to harness SCUBA as a research tool to develop seaweed cultivation techniques, monitor sites of natural and cultivated seaweeds, and to explore the role that seaweeds play in climate change mitigation in the NE Atlantic.

Using Drones to Survey Kelp Beds and Seaweed Farms

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The team plans to use this drone for surveying natural kelp beds and commercial seaweed farms along the west coast of Ireland to monitor the potential effects of seaweed cultivation on benthic ecosystems. The drone is able to record HD videos, can pick up items and even has a cutting tool developed for taking kelp samples. The initial test in the TCD pool went well and we are now planning further open water tests, before using the drone as part of the project monitoring.

Beyond biofuel