19 June 2015
Caption: Cefas scientists on board the Cefas Endeavour will be sampling water from the English Channel
Cefas scientists, based in Lowestoft and Kuwait City, will be joining forces with marine scientists across the world on 21 June, to take part in an ambitious global research project – Ocean Sampling Day 2015.
Scientists spanning all five continents will take samples of seawater on mid-summer’s day, building on last year’s first ever Ocean Sampling Day, which also took place on the longest day of the year.
Cefas marine scientists will be sampling water from the English Channel from on board the Cefas Endeavour and also from Kuwait Bay at 12.00 local time, contributing to samples taken from some 200 separate sites by more than 150 of the world’s leading marine science organisations.
Cefas scientists Veronique Creach and Sophie Pitois have co-ordinated Cefas‘ involvement in OSD.
Veronique Creach said:
“80% of all life on Earth comes from the oceans which cover more than 70% of the planet, yet less than 5% has been explored. At the microscopic level especially we know very little, so these research findings are crucial to increase our knowledge of microbial biodiversity on a global scale.”
Kuwait based Cefas Scientist, Will Le Quesne, will be sampling the Gulf waters with UK Ambassador Matthew Lodge, and Kuwait Environmental Public Authority colleague Hessa Al_Khaled.
Will Le Quesne said:
“It is a privilege to be working with the Environmental Public Authority of Kuwait to collect a sample of Gulf waters increasing the truly global coverage of Ocean Sampling Day.”
The Kuwait and UK samples taken will, along with all other samples, be sent to the lead research partner at the University of Bremen in Germany. Bacteria will be analysed and recorded, forming the biggest standardised reference data set in the world for generations of experiments to follow.
Samples will also be sent to the world famous Smithsonian’s Institution Natural History Museum in Washington DC, USA. The Museum will keep up to 10000 samples, collected every 21st June, in a time-capsule. This precious data bank will allow future generations of marine scientists to understand and benchmark changes in the marine environment.
Other organisations based in the UK taking part in Ocean Sampling Day are Bangor University, University of Essex, Marine Science Scotland, Newcastle University and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, ensuring a comprehensive picture of bacteria in UK sea waters.
This worldwide effort is coordinated jointly by Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany and University of Oxford, UK. It is funded by the European Union.