Marine Life Talk at NOC in Southampton

Marine Life Talk

Thursday, 2 March 2017


Deep sea landscapes: how seafloor topography affects animal distribution

A generally accepted paradigm in deep sea ecology states that biomass decreases as depth increases. Nevertheless, unexpectedly large benthic standing stocks have been observed, generally associated with topographic features such as seamounts and trenches. At these sites, biomass can be higher than what would be expected under normal conditions of vertical flux of organic carbon. Lateral fluxes of organic particles are believed to sustain the growth of excess biomass in these areas, which could not be sustained by vertical fluxes alone.

Matteo will try to show how the synergy of hydrodynamic and gravitational processes can explain the distribution of benthic communities around three types of topographic features in the deep sea. Global benthic biomass has been forecasted to decrease by 5% under climate change scenarios; therefore, accurate estimates of carbon stocks and fluxes through the benthic community, and their spatial variability, are needed to improve models of climate change impact models as they become more accurate and, therefore, more sensible to spatial variability at fine scale.

Speaker: Matteo Ichino is about to finish his PhD at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, during which he investigated the effect of small scale topography on the distribution of benthic biomass. In particular, his interest has been in determining, through local case studies and global models, how biomass is distributed around features such as seamounts and trenches. Before his PhD he completed his Biology undergraduate degree in Genoa (Italy), to then come to Southampton for a Master in Ocean Sciences during which he worked on the physiology of shrimp larvae. In his talk Matteo will show how, with his PhD research, he has attempted to improve our understanding of small scale distribution of benthic animals in the deep sea.


Visiting the NOC: As the NOC is located within the Port of Southampton and entry is via Dock Gate 4 Port Security require all visitors bring along with them their confirmation ticket and a valid form of photographic ID (Driving License / Passport). The Port of Southampton is the Strategic Authority for the implementation of security within the port area where the NOC is located.

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Parking at NOC

There are a number of designated visitor parking spaces available at NOC. If these are full after 5pm please drive to the staff car parks barriers and access can be given by pressing the intercom button in the box next to the barrier, on requesting entry you will be asked for Name and Car Registration number and the barrier will be lifted.

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Next Month’s Talk

6 April 2017 – The Undulate Ray Project – Speakers: Martin and Sheilah Openshaw

Marine Life Talks are held on the first Thursday of each month at 7pm in the Henry Charnock Lecture Theatre, National Oceanography Centre. Please sign in outside the lecture theatre on level four.

All talks are free and open to members of the public.

Event dates: 
Thursday 2 March 2017 - 19:00