Exploring Australia's Deep Sea
With state-of-the-art submersibles, dive support systems and deep-sea sampling technology, a team of scientists led by Prof Justin Marshall from The University of Queensland are unravelling some of the greatest biological mysteries of all time.
With financial support from the Australian Research Council, Harbour Branch Oceanographic Institute/Florida Atlantic University, Australian Oceanographics, & The University of Queensland, the DOA scientist team have the chance to explore, observe, sample and film deep-sea Australia, discover new forms of life, learn how animals use their sensory systems and brains to live in the dark and understand how species and habitats are all connected.
Specifically designed equipment allows deep-sea animals to be captured and brought to the surface alive for further observation and experiments on their vision, lateral lines, taste and brain function which have all adapted to life in a cold and dark habitat.
Other research areas aim to discover new underwater ecosystems and what lies beyond the Great Barrier Reef in the unexplored drop-offs and inter-reef areas. As a result, their research will create a picture of ecosystems to a depth of 2000 metres and enhance Australia's ocean conservation efforts beyond the small rim close to shore. Research into marine invertebrates will also provide insight for pharmaceutical development, while the impacts of climate change on coral reefs can also be assessed.
Last updated: March 2012 by Eva McClure