Dr. Alan Jamieson and Prof. Stuart Piertney from the University of Aberdeen with collaborators from NIWA, New Zealand and the Museum of Natural History in Paris, France, have been awarded a new 2-year project by the TOTAL Foundation in France.
The Project entitled ‘Trench Connection’ will expand their current sampling campaigns in the Kermadec Trench (SW Pacific Ocean) to encompass the abyssal communties of the South Fiji Basin and the hadal communities of the New Hebrides Trench (west of New Caledonia). The project will utilise the New Zealand Research Vessel ‘Kaharoa’ to deploy the abyssal- and hadal-landers across the South Fiji Basin in leg 1, and down the slopes of the New Hebrides Trench to it’s maximum depth (7200m) on leg 2.
The team are investiagting the concept of trench endemism in the contexts of intra- and inter-trench endemsism versus provincial ultra-deep endemism and the influence of abyssal partitioning.
The project is due to start in April 2013 with the expedition scheduled for the austral spring 2013.
Press Release, August 22, 2012; Image: NIWA