NOC Southampton Marine Life Talk: Mapping the uniqueness of some of the most unusual places on Earth

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Mapping the uniqueness of some of the most unusual places on Earth

Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are possibly some of the most unusual places on Earth. Found at the bottom of the sea, at locations where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common, these seafloor hot springs are home to unique animals, adapted to life without light but with plenty of heat!  During this Marine Life Talk, Abbie will share her PhD research, which she worked on at the University of Southampton with Dr Amanda Bates (now at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada), Professor Verena Tunnicliffe (University of Victoria, Canada), Dr Jon Copley (University of Southampton), and Dr Adrian Glover (Natural History Museum, London). She compared communities of deep-sea hydrothermal-vent animals across the world to find out which were the most unique. Thousands of metres below the sea surface, the first human footprints are soon to be left on the seafloor. Deep-sea mining is expected to begin in 2020, destroying vent chimneys as we mine the minerals they are made from. Abbie hopes that her work will be used to conserve Earth’s precious, unusual hydrothermal-vent habitats and the animals that thrive in them.

Speaker: Abbie S. A. Chapman, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University College London

Abbie Chapman is a recent PhD graduate from the University of Southampton, completing her PhD entitled ‘A trait-based approach to the biodiversity of deep-sea hydrothermal-vent ecosystems’ in December 2018. It was during her MSc in Oceanography at the National Oceanography Centre that she saw hydrothermal vents for the first time and got hooked on deep-sea ecology. Abbie is now a Postdoctoral Research Associate at University College London, using her mapping and coding skills to investigate how land used for agriculture might be affecting African biodiversity, as part of the Sentinel project. She has not left the deep sea behind, though, and is working on publications from her thesis, as well as a book chapter on deep-sea mining, led by Dr Daniel Jones (NOCS) and Dr Diva Amon (Natural History Museum, London).  For more information on Abbie’s research, see

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Marine Life Talks

Normally the Marine Life Talks are held on the first Thursday of each month (except in January) at 7pm in the Henry Charnock Lecture Theatre, National Oceanography Centre. When you arrive, please sign-in outside the lecture theatre on level four.


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Event dates: 
Thursday 1 August 2019 - 19:00