Marine Life Talk at NOC in Southampton

Marine Life Talk

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Life under the ice: How we monitor and manage marine life in Antarctica

The marine life around Antarctica evolved through glacial cycles and isolation by complex current systems. Such factors could have lead increased biodiversity in different regions. Antarctic waters are now experiencing some of the fastest rates of climate change and this will impact its marine animals.

Maddie uses DNA barcoding to assess the level of species diversity of one of the most abundant groups of animals on the Antarctic seafloor, Polychaete worms. Genetic analysis has revealed that we are underestimating current levels of species diversity within the Antarctic Ocean. By analysing the geographic distribution of these barcoded specimens we also uncover that many species may be circumpolar throughout the Antarctic region. These widespread species ranges could be driven by their larval dispersal and oceanographic features.

To further our understanding of these species, Maddie is using stable isotope analysis to describe the diversity of polychaetes on a functional level, quantifying their position in the food web and trophic variation within families.

Maddie will explain how data such as these are important for understanding and monitoring how marine communities may respond to environmental change and inform marine management decisions. In current collaborations with British Antarctic Survey Maddie is assessing the current levels of species diversity, the abundance of protected species and their distribution in regions of Antarctica currently protected from commercial fishing.

During her marine life talk Maddie will share her experiences from the Southern Ocean including research expeditions to South Orkney Islands with British Antarctic Survey and Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula with the US Antarctic Program.


Maddie Brasier is a final year PhD student at the University of Liverpool and Natural History Museum, London. Her PhD research combines DNA analysis and compound specific stable isotope analysis to further our understanding of the diversity, biogeography and trophic traits of Antarctic Polychaetes.

Maddie has collaborated with British Antarctic Survey and the US Antarctic Program during her PhD for both fieldwork and research projects. Maddie is also a STEM Ambassador and a member of the UK Polar Network and Women in Polar Science for whom she has participated and organised many outreach events.

Next year Maddie will be participating in the next Homeward Bound all-female leadership expedition to the Antarctic. Maddie received her MSci in Marine Biology at the University of Southampton.


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.
Please do not park in areas not designated for parking and ensure roadways are kept clear.

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Next Month’s Talk

1 June 2017 – The Undulate Ray project – Speakers: Martin and Sheilah Openshaw

Marine Life Talks

These 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 4 May 2017 - 19:00 to 21:00