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DSSV pressure drop

Minderoo-UWA Deep-Sea Research Centre

Exploring and mapping the deepest areas of the Indian Ocean and beyond

A partnership between

 

    



The University of Western Australia and Minderoo Foundation have joined forces to establish a world leading deep-ocean research centre, to increase understanding about the deepest parts of the ocean.

The Minderoo-UWA Deep-Sea Research Centre has been supported with a major five-year grant from Minderoo Foundation’s Flourishing Oceans initiative, as part of its commitment to increasing knowledge of the deep sea and to return the oceans to a healthy, thriving state.

deep sea creature
deep sea creature

Mission



Our knowledge of the world’s oceans is strong along coastal areas, but we live in surprising ignorance of the deep ocean – the largest habitat for life on earth.

This partnership is a joint commitment to increase our understanding of the deep ocean by discovering new species, assessing marine biodiversity, mapping the ocean floor, and charting deep-sea habitats. The centre specialises in abyssal (3,000-6,000 m) and hadal (6,000-11,000 m) depths that represent the deepest 70% of the oceans, the most extreme marine frontiers.


Submersible
Submersible

EXPEDITIONS



Our deep-sea research is already surfacing important discoveries.

 

The first expedition, to the Wallaby-Zenith Fracture Zone, was on board the DSSV Pressure Drop, a customised research ship that carries a full ocean depth rated submersible DSV Limiting Factor. This expedition was the first comprehensive survey of these deep east Indian Ocean features.

 



People

The Deep-Sea Research Centre is a unique multidisciplinary combination of expertise spanning biology, ecology, taxonomy, genetics, geology and subsea technology. This sea-going team will work closely and across disciplines to produce new insight into the deepest parts of our oceans and the life it contains. 

Exploration

Accessing anywhere the deep ocean is paramount to the Deep-Sea Research Centre’s vision. Over the course of five years, the research team will undertake many oceanic expeditions to the Indian ocean and beyond. These voyages of discovery will see this highly experienced team embark on local and international research vessels to explore, sample and experience a multitude of deep-sea habitats for the first time. 

Technology

Deep-sea research is often underpinned by new technologies. The centre will utilise their own bespoke full ocean depth rated imaging landers and other state-of-the-art exploration vehicles to access the most remote parts of our oceans. The unique technologies provide the team access to anywhere in the worlds oceans and bring back images and samples.


Facilities

The recently constructed multifunctional centre is supported by state-of-the-art facilities. The laboratory will be the place where deep-sea instruments are prepared for deployment, data are analysed, and samples processed. The lab utilises extensive resources, including on-site engineering and oceanographic support and two busy marine molecular biology laboratories hosted in the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre.

Seabed mapping

Mapping the deep-seafloor and its many geomorphological structures is a key component in the centre’s research vision as well as contributing to national and international mapping initiatives. The research centre aims to increase the seafloor mapping of abyssal and hadal depths, particularly in the Indian Ocean. Bathymetric collected will be shared nationally and internationally. 


Alan Jamieson

Alan Jamieson

Founding Director

Professor Alan Jamieson is a biologist, engineer, adventurer, explorer, and author. He has worked in the deep-sea for over 20 years, and has had a significant impact on the field in this time. He has published over 110 scientific papers, has been involved in over 70 deep-sea expeditions, and has conducted research in every one of the world’s oceans. His work has also featured in the BBC’s Blue Planet II, and NHK’s Deep Ocean, Descent into the Mariana Trench documentaries.

 

Alan joins the School of Biological Sciences and Oceans Institute as the Founding Director of the new Minderoo-UWA Deep-Sea Research Centre. He, his team of postdocs and PhD students, as well as the Centre itself, will be based in the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC) building on UWA Crawley campus.


Todd Bond

Todd Bond

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Todd Bond is a marine ecologist at The University of Western Australia who focuses on fish and shark ecology and the Research Coordinator of the Deep-Sea centre. He is an international expert in fish ecology research around artificial structures including oil and gas installations and his work informs sensible approaches to decommissioning.His research extends from coastal waters to bathyal depths and he collaborates globally.

Dr Bond’s research has been awarded at international conferences and saw him receive a Premier’s Science Award in 2020.


Paige Maroni

Paige Maroni

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Paige Maroni is a marine scientist at the University of Western Australia and the geneticist within the Deep-Sea Centre. Paige has a deep appreciation and interest in marine invertebrates and rich experience in taxonomic field studies.

 

Additionally, Paige has been awarded the UWA Oceans Institute Robson and Robertson award, a UWA Convocation award, and an Antarctic Science Foundation award.

Prema Arasu

Prema Arasu

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Prema Arasu is a writer and poet interested in the phenomenology of the deep sea. They have an MLitt in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture, and have recently submitted a PhD in Creative Writing at UWA.

Dr Arasu is interested in how speculative fiction and experimental forms might provide us with new ways of talking about and conceptualising the oceans, particularly in the context of the Anthropocene. Their approach is interdisciplinary; integrating the methodologies of literary studies, creative arts, environmental humanities, philosophy, and science communication.

Yakup Niyazi

Yakup Niyazi

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Yakup Niyazi is a Marine Geoscientist at the Deep-Sea Research Centre. His research involves mapping the deep seafloor using acoustic imaging techniques and using his expertise in geomorphology, geology and geophysics to understand the regional and global context of the deep-sea geomorphology.   

Dr Niyazi's main research interests includes submarine geomorphology, seismic stratigraphy and geomorphology of submarine canyon/channels, mass-transport complexes, fluid flow, and igneous plumbing systems in the ocean sphere.


Jess Kolbusz

Jess Kolbusz

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Jess Kolbusz is a physical oceanographer at the University of Western Australia and the Oceanographer within the Deep-Sea Research Centre. She is a transdisciplinary researcher with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Engineering and a PhD from UWA on the role of oceanographic processes on the settlement of the Western rock lobster.


Dr Kolbusz's current research focuses on the physical and biological characteristics of the full-depth profile and how these conditions may link to the ecology of the deep sea.

Explore with us

Looking to join our next underwater expedition? Over the coming years, there will be opportunities and scholarships for PhD students as well as positions for professional and academic staff. 

The Deep-Sea Research Centre is multidisciplinary and welcomes new research collaborations.  Join the Oceans Institute community to stay up to date with opportunities like this and more. 

Reach out to us at oceans@uwa.edu.au

 


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