Marine Life Talk – 7 July 2011

Ivory Towers vent site

Deep sea hydrothermal vents: a journey to the Southern Ocean – part II, 19.30pm at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton –

by Leigh Marsh and Laura Hepburn

The discovery of chemosynthetic environments in 1977 is arguably one of the great multidisciplinary oceanographic achievements of 20th century. However, thirty-three years later, 90% percent of the oceanic ridge system remains unexplored. With the global mid-ocean ridge system extending more than 65,000 km, it is unlikely that its entire length could be examined in detail.

With this in mind, the ChEsS (Chemosythetic Ecosystem Science) programme proposed and selected a limited number of target areas chosen for the discovery of new vents and seeps.

One of these key locations is the Southern Ocean, with exploration fronted by the ChEsSo (ChEss in the Southern Ocean) Programme. Using new footage from their most recent expedition to the East Scotia Ridge and Bransfield Strait, this talk will tell the story of the search for new hydrothermal vent fields, and what happens when it all goes wrong!

Leigh Marsh graduated with a Masters of Oceanography from the University of Southampton in 2005. Since graduating, Leigh has worked for the Environment Agency, Natural England and more recently as a commercial marine ecologist for a Southampton based survey company.

In October 2009, she returned to the NOCS to start a PhD investigating the controls on faunal microdistribution and reproductive development in deep-sea chemosynthetic environments in the Antarctic.

Laura Hepburn is also a PhD student at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS). After graduating as a Master of Oceanography from the University of Southampton in 2008, she began working within the Geochemistry Group of NOCS.

Eager to continue research work she successfully applied for a PhD project investigating geochemical controls on microbial processes within chemosynthetic habitats of the Southern Ocean.

Future Marine Life Talks at the National Oceanography Centre

04/08/11 Why is marine wildlife monitoring important? – Alice Jones

01/09/11 t.b.c.

06/10/11 Surf's up Dude! – Josie Pegg

Free admission – these talks are open to the public

The Marine Life Talks are held on the first Thursday of the month at 7.30pm, please arrive at 7.15pm to be met in Reception.

Arrangements for wheelchairs must be made in advance. Unless it is possible to descend via the stairs in an emergency, access to upper floors cannot be permitted as lifts are automatically immobilised when the fire alarm is activated.

The National Oceanography Centre is reached via Dock Gate 4 (between Southampton’s Town Quay and Ocean Village).

Event dates: 
Thursday 7 July 2011 - 19:15 to 20:30