ATLAS is delighted to announce we have secured a session at The ICES Annual Science Conference 2018 (24 - 27 September, Hamburg, Germany) and we would like as many of you to submit your abstracts.

Theme G: Ocean basin-scale research and management: challenges and opportunities

Conven​ers: J. Murray Roberts (United Kingdom) and Ellen Kenchington (Canada)

Deadline: 19 March 2018

Submit your abstract here

This session will explore the themes emerging as both the marine scientific and management communities embrace assessments of ecosystem connectivity, biogeography, and function at broader geographical scales. Research and policy development at ocean basin scale has been driven by the realization that climatic change and human impacts are rapidly altering marine ecosystems at the same time as governments seek to promote increased economic output from the marine environment. This broad context sets a considerable challenge and opportunity for marine science, industry, management and policy to shape the frameworks through which Blue Growth can be achieved.

Hi!  My name is Emma, I am the new ATLAS project Officer at Dynamic Earth and I’m part of Work Package 9 (Dissemination, Knowledge Transfer and Outreach). As part of my role at Dynamic Earth, I’ll be developing and designing educational materials based on the outcomes of ATLAS.  Last month, I was lucky enough to get to attend the Science Uncovered Oceans Night at the Natural History Museum in London.  It was part of European Researcher’s Night and I got to chat to loads of fascinating people in the EU café including people working on ocean currents, the SponGES project and even the medical effects of micro-plastics.  I also got to hear the amazing story of Hope, the Blue Whale skeleton which has replaced ‘Dippy’ the Diplodocus.  There was a brilliant mix of things to see and do from a range of organisations as well as the Museum’s collections.  It has certainly given me plenty of great ideas of how to get the highlights of ATLAS research out to the general public!

Georgios Kazanidis (University of Edinburgh) was delighted to attend the First MERCES Annual meeting (20-22 June 2017, Heraklion-Crete) to present an overview of ATLAS at the Open Science Session. Workpackage leaders Anthony Grehan (NUI Galway) and Telmo Morato (IMAR UAz) were also in attendance as both are also involved in the MERCES project.

MERCES is one of ATLAS’ sister projects (the second being SponGES) and is on the restoration of different degraded marine habitats, with the aim of: 1) assessing the potential of different technologies and approaches; 2) quantifying the returns in terms of ecosystems services and their socio-economic impacts; 3) defining the legal-policy and governance frameworks needed to optimize the effectiveness of the different restoration approaches. Specific aims include: a) improving existing, and developing new, restoration actions of degraded marine habitats; b) increasing the adaptation of EU degraded marine habitats to global change; c) enhancing marine ecosystem resilience and services; d) conducting cost-benefit analyses for marine restoration measures; e) creating new industrial targets and opportunities.To find out more about MERCES please visit their project website

Testing new oxygen sensors (combined with sensors to measure temperature, salinity and pressure) at SAMS’ Scottish Marine Robotics Facility, alongside two of its gliders © Estelle Dumont.

The Royal Research Ship Discovery crew recently deployed high-technology biogeochemical sensors onto existing ‘Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program’ (OSNAP) moorings in the Rockall Trough in the north Atlantic Ocean. By taking continuous measurements in this important yet remote location, the sensors will contribute much needed long-term biogeochemical data to further our understanding of the interactions occurring in our ocean.

A special session “Cold-water corals in a changing ocean“ has been organised at the European Coral Reef Symposium by Cova Orejas, Christine Ferrier-Pagès, Stephanie Reynaud & J. Murray Roberts. This conference will be held in Oxford, UK, from the 13th to the 15th December 2017.

The abstract deadline is June 30 and all conference details & the abstract submission system can be found here:


ATLAS combined with the INSITE project to host a workshop "Blue Growth Data Challenge Part 2: Offshore Energy Case Studies" at European Maritime Day 2017.

Rockall Bank: Scleractinian corals (Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata) encrusting sponges (spongorites sp) and gorgonians.

April 24th - May 11th 2017

Blog intro by cruise leaders Gert-Jan Reichart & Dick van Oevelen

The deep seafloor harbours one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on our planet: cold-water coral reefs. Like their tropical counterparts, cold-water corals (CWCs) form structurally complex habitats that support a diverse and productive reef community. It is still paradoxical how such a rich ecosystem can thrive in the deep sea, an environment that is typically considered to be food limited. A group of scientists, funded by NWO (VIDI program) and the EU (, collectively targetted this paradox during their recent cruise with the Dutch research vessel Pelagia. The cruise visited Rockall Bank (West of Ireland) which has amongst the highest abundance of cold-water coral reefs in the world.

In April 2017, the ATLAS Consortium gathered in Mallorca for the ATLAS 2nd General Assembly. This brought together over 65 interested individuals from all areas of the project: scientists, policy makers, communicators and social scientists.