Challenger society conference Sept 8-11 @ Plymouth University


FixO3 Project Coordinator, Prof. Richard Lampitt and Interim Project Manager, Sofia Alexiou travelled to Plymouth to present a FixO3 talk and poster during the biannual Challenger Society Conference held at Plymouth University on Sept 8-11 2014. They were accompanied by FixO3 NOC scientists Corinne Pebody and Sue Hartman who also presented posters of their work and research.

The Challenger Society for Ocean Science represents all aspects of marine science and aims to foster two way collaborations between the marine science research community and industry in order to advance study and application of the field through research and education. The Challenger Society Conference is aimed especially for early career scientists providing a platform for them to showcase their work, network with national and international institutions and industry partners, and have the opportunity create collaborations for future projects or research.


During The Challenger Society Conference 2014, Prof. Lampitt gave a 15 minute talk discussing the value of oceans, the cost of ocean observations and the importance of the continuation of long term sustained multidisciplinary ocean observations in order to understand both the natural processes occurring in the ocean as well as the human influence on marine ecosystems. The information they provide contribute to a more efficient use and protection of the marine environment.

Project Manager Sofia Alexiou presented a FixO3 poster (above) illustrating the structure of the projects, discussing our aims and accomplishments in the first year. She had the opportunity to network with early career scientists, PhD students and industry members, establishing contact points for future collaborations with each.


Corinne Pebody presented a poster of the work she has been conducting titled Zooplankton in particle flux traps, whether flux or free swimming, how much are they affected by the physical effects of the water column?

Zooplankton play an important role in the processes controlling the oceanic carbon sink. Sampling of bathypelagic zooplankton is globally sparse and the sediment trap samples provide a rare opportunity to examine the temporal variation in the downward flux of this particular faunal group. Zooplankton were collected at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) observatory site in the Northeast Atlantic (49 °N 16 °W) using continuously deployed sediment traps at 3000m and 100mab (metres above bottom). The long time series at the PAP site revealed close links between the zooplankton flux and particle flux, however other influences and contributors could also be expected to play a role in driving the zooplankton distribution. Here the team investigate the effect of current speed and direction on the zooplankton population. Although correlation does not imply causation this is a unique dataset potentially shedding light on the interaction between secondary production and local open ocean dynamics.