Influence of population connectivity on depth-dependent diversity of deep-sea marine benthic biota

Lead Research Organisation: University of Plymouth
Department Name: Sch of Biological and Marine Sciences

Abstract

Species populations are connected to each other through both movement of adults (migration) and eggs, larvae and juveniles (dispersal). If populations become isolated from one another (i.e. are no longer connected), then through genetic mutation, drift and natural selection, they may become so different that they evolve into new biological species. Understanding how populations become isolated is critical to understanding the process of speciation. In the marine environment many species do not move as adults (e.g. corals) or move very slowly (sea urchins). This means that for different adult populations to remain connected they rely on dispersal of early life history stages. Most marine species have a larval stage that lives in the plankton for a period of time, moving with the currents, before settling in a new area. It is larval dispersal that keeps distant populations connected. So understanding patterns of larval dispersal is important to understanding connectivity.

In the deep-sea (>200m) the bathyal region of the continental slope has been identified as supporting high species richness and being an area where the rate of origination of new species may also be high. The reasons for this are not clear, but given the importance of connectivity to population isolation and speciation, it follows that the key to understanding patterns of species diversity in this region lies in understanding connectivity. New research has suggested that because the speed of the currents that carry larvae decreases as you go deeper, larvae might not be able to travel as far, leading to a greater tendency for populations at bathyal depths to become isolated over a given distance, and thus increasing the chances of speciation.

This study aims to test this theory by investigating how patterns of connectivity vary with depth. This will be done in 3 ways: 1) using genetic analysis (similar to DNA fingerprinting) to compare how related distant populations are and if they become less closely related as you go deeper, 2) using a model of ocean currents to simulate the movement of larvae between sites, and 3) to look at the range and abundance of species present at distant locations to see if those at shallower depths are more similar to each-other than those at bathyal depths.
This research has important implications for the sustainable management of the marine environment. Humans increasingly rely on the marine environment to supply us with food, building materials, fuel, and to soak up carbon slowing the progress of human induced climate change. However, our increasing use of this environment is starting to affect is 'normal' functioning, affecting the processes that allow it to provide us with food, fuel, etc. To try to help protect and sustain these 'ecosystem functions', Governments all over the world are setting up networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to ensure against serious ecosystem disturbance and cascade effects resulting from overexploitation that ultimately impair ecosystem function. There are many questions to be answered when trying to set up an MPA network, but one important question is where to put them to make sure that the populations that live within them are not isolated from each other but are connected. This research will help answer this question in the deep sea, and thus help managers, governments and society ensure the long term health of the ocean.

Planned Impact

Who will benefit?
Beneficiaries of the proposed research include UK Government Departments (Defra and Marine Scotland), and their advisory body the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. At a European level beneficiaries include the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the Environment Directorate-General, all contracting parties to the Oslo-Paris (OSPAR) Convention, and groups who provide advice to these bodies (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea), as well as fisheries regulatory groups such as the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission and North Western Waters Regional Advisory Council. At a Global level beneficiaries include all contracting parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, particularly those with extensive deep-sea areas within their exclusive economic zones. In addition to society a broad cross-section of the academic community will also benefit, from evolutionary biologists to demographers, macroecologists, biogeographers and oceanographers

How will they benefit?
One of the biggest challenges facing marine environmental managers the world over is how to implement an 'ecologically coherent' network of marine protected areas (MPAs). This task is a requirement of national (e.g. UK Marine Act), regional (European Marine Strategy Framework Directive, OSPAR Convention), and global (Convention on Biological Diversity) policy, and the UK has a legal obligation to implement a network. In order to be successful and acceptable to those people and livelihoods affected by the potential restrictions placed on human activities within these protected areas, it is vital that decisions about where to place them are based on the best scientific data available. Although there is a small but growing body of research on MPA selection criteria including representation of habitats, percentage of target area requirements, and size of MPAs, there is very limited directed research addressing MPA network design, and specifically the spacing of MPAs within a network in order to ensure connectivity of protected populations. This situation is even more extreme for the deep-sea where data are sparse and human impacts are difficult to quantify.

The proposed research aims to investigate population connectivity in the deep sea; specifically addressing potential variation in connectivity with depth, connectivity among spatially fragmented habitat (seamounts, banks, oceanic islands), and the potential for bio-oceanographic models to predict large scale connectivity patterns. The outputs of this research would provide the basis for robust scientific advice on the spacing of MPAs within a network and the importance of seamounts and banks to network coherence. In addition it would potentially provide a freely available scientifically validated tool (bio-oceanographic model) for modelling connectivity in other areas. The PIs positions on advisory bodies at European and Global levels will ensure this advice is fed straight into policy and environmental management decisions.

The drivers behind the policy to conserve biodiversity are not for the sake of conservation itself, but for the sustainability of the growing human populations in terms of food and resources. Ultimately providing science to support these policy decisions is to the benefit of society as a whole.
 
Description Our work was focused on understanding how well connected deep-sea populations are so as to help inform marine environmental management. We used a series of seamount sites, some of which are Marine Protected Areas, to investigate how well populations were connected between sites, and how well they were connected within a site over the depth gradient. In our model deep-sea population, about 19% of our test larvae left their home seamount site, and all seamount sites were connected suggesting there is good connectivity between MPAs. However, larvae released from deeper populations suffer greater mortality and contribute less to the pool of larvae leaving the seamount than those released from shallower populations. What this means is that the populations in different deep-sea MPAs are connected but the shallow genetic population is likely to be contributing more to the exchanges (and flow of genes) between sites, meaning that these shallower parts of the population are very important to look after to make sure sites remain well connected. We also found that while there is some movement of larvae up and down the depth gradient, only 1-14% move more than 200m up or down from where they started, while less than 1% go further than 350m. This means that physical oceanography could help explain the genetic structuring we see in deep-sea populations over the depth gradient. It also means that it will be important to ensure that the full depth range of a species is represented within an MPA network to ensure that genetic diversity is maintained. We have made lots of other very specific discoveries that were not part of the original science plan. For example we observed and modelled how water moves between two different ocean basins; we found that artificial intelligence could be used to help speed up the rate at which biological image data are analysed; we learned that George Bligh Bank is a very important site for vulnerable marine ecosystems and should be considered for protection; we also learned physical oceanographic process created by the tide might be very important in shaping the communities of animals found on seamounts and could help explain why these sites are so productive.
Exploitation Route The outcomes of this project can be used by our partners , the JNCC, to help them take decisions about how to manage the UK's marine protected areas. The data are also useful to other nations and the UN in understanding how to better manage the deep sea. Academically, the outcomes help us understand how the physical environment may contribute to evolutionary processes and help structure communities. This can be taken up for use in predicting and forecasting possible outcomes of environmental change. Our incidental outcomes are also very useful. The frame we developed for a global standardised marine taxon reference image database (SMarTaR-ID) to support image-based analyses is a much needed database and our efforts will eventually help all those using images / video as a survey and monitoring tool. The preliminary work on use of artificial intelligence in image analysis will help inform the future development of this novel tool and its application to biological sciences.
Sectors Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description West of Scotland Deep Sea Marine Reserve
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The DeepLinks data have been a key resource in supporting the proposal for the West of Scotland Deep Sea Marine Reserve. DeepLinks data has been used in the "data confidence assessment" for the deep-sea marine reserve proposal, to support both the presence and extent of deep-sea features. In particular, the 2016 data from George Bligh Bank was instrumental for the inclusion of this area within the proposal. Other examples of DeepLinks data used includes research regarding the predicted distribution of cold-waters corals. Additionally, DeepLinks video and imagery has been used in the communications materials regarding the West of Scotland Deep Sea Marine Reserve proposal, including a video.
 
Description presence of VMEs within EU and NEAFC waters
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact ROV imagery data collected during DeepLinks have been reviewed by JNCC for presence of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), and these VME data have been submitted to the ICES VME database. These data are used by the Joint ICES/NAFO Working Group on Deep-water Ecology (WGDEC) to provide advice to the European Commission and North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) on the presence of VMEs within EU and NEAFC waters, and any recommendations for closures to bottom trawling in NEAFC waters. In addition, in 2020, data from the ICES VME database, including the DeepLinks data, has been used by ICES to develop proposals for closure areas to bottom trawling within the 400-800m depth zone, to protect areas where VMEs occur, or are likely to occur, as regulated through the EU deep-sea access regulations (EU 2016/2336).
 
Title DEEPLINKS physical specimens 
Description This is a collection of physical specimens currently housed at oxford university. NERC does not make provision for the archiving of physical specimens. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Specimens are available for others to use but there is no mechanism for housing them. Impact will come from reuse. 
 
Title Interpreted image data 
Description This is a collection of interpreted image data with X,Y position and ID of animals annotated. It has potential onward use in AI work. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Peer reviewed paper, new grant application 
 
Title Smatar-ID 
Description a global standardised marine taxon reference image database (SMarTaR-ID) to support image-based analyses. We have developed the framework for this database but it is not yet live due to lack of funding. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact New collaborations have been made, new grant applications. 
 
Description Artificial intelligence work 
Organisation University of Plymouth
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We wanted to investigate the use of artificial intelligence to interpret the imagery collected by Autosub 6000 on JC136. We provided the idea, images and image analysis, data analysis and writing
Collaborator Contribution We partnered with researchers in the school of computing who provided advice and knowledge in the use of artificial intelligence.
Impact Outcomes: peer reviewed publication, new grant applications. Multi-disciplinary: ecology, computer science (computer vision and artificial intelligence)
Start Year 2018
 
Description Biomedical work 
Organisation University of Plymouth
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We were interested in the biomedical potential of deep-sea animals and so partnered with researchers in the biomedical school in Plymouth University.. We provided them with some sponge samples from JC136 to work on.
Collaborator Contribution The biomedical school investigated the sponge samples for new antimicrobials
Impact Two new PhD studentships funded. Promising new lead in search for antimicrobials
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration between Plymouth University and British Geological Survey 
Organisation British Geological Survey
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We provided the berth space on the vessel
Collaborator Contribution BGS provided two staff members to the join the research cruise to undertake seafloor mapping work.
Impact The seafloor maps generated are contributing to on-going efforts to map the UK marine territory and will be used by multiple future projects. The collaboration is multi-disciplinary between ecology and hydrography.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Smartar-ID partnership 
Organisation Centre For Environment, Fisheries And Aquaculture Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Using the ROV footage we collected on JC136 we added better quality footage and information to our existing species catalogue, but realised there was a need to standardise this resource between countries to enable merging of data sets. We held a two day workshop that our collaborators came to giving their time for free and the cost of their travel.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended a 2 day workshop to help develop a standardised approach to image interpretation giving their time for free and paying their own travel. They also contributed time to the development of the paper that came out of this effort.
Impact Outputs - Peer reviewed publication, New grant application to NERC to develop the ideas, continued efforts to develop the ideas unfunded. This was multidisciplinary and involved ecologists, computer scientists, digital media specialists.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smartar-ID partnership 
Organisation French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Using the ROV footage we collected on JC136 we added better quality footage and information to our existing species catalogue, but realised there was a need to standardise this resource between countries to enable merging of data sets. We held a two day workshop that our collaborators came to giving their time for free and the cost of their travel.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended a 2 day workshop to help develop a standardised approach to image interpretation giving their time for free and paying their own travel. They also contributed time to the development of the paper that came out of this effort.
Impact Outputs - Peer reviewed publication, New grant application to NERC to develop the ideas, continued efforts to develop the ideas unfunded. This was multidisciplinary and involved ecologists, computer scientists, digital media specialists.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smartar-ID partnership 
Organisation Gardline Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Using the ROV footage we collected on JC136 we added better quality footage and information to our existing species catalogue, but realised there was a need to standardise this resource between countries to enable merging of data sets. We held a two day workshop that our collaborators came to giving their time for free and the cost of their travel.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended a 2 day workshop to help develop a standardised approach to image interpretation giving their time for free and paying their own travel. They also contributed time to the development of the paper that came out of this effort.
Impact Outputs - Peer reviewed publication, New grant application to NERC to develop the ideas, continued efforts to develop the ideas unfunded. This was multidisciplinary and involved ecologists, computer scientists, digital media specialists.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smartar-ID partnership 
Organisation Marine Biology Station, Funchal
Country Portugal 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Using the ROV footage we collected on JC136 we added better quality footage and information to our existing species catalogue, but realised there was a need to standardise this resource between countries to enable merging of data sets. We held a two day workshop that our collaborators came to giving their time for free and the cost of their travel.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended a 2 day workshop to help develop a standardised approach to image interpretation giving their time for free and paying their own travel. They also contributed time to the development of the paper that came out of this effort.
Impact Outputs - Peer reviewed publication, New grant application to NERC to develop the ideas, continued efforts to develop the ideas unfunded. This was multidisciplinary and involved ecologists, computer scientists, digital media specialists.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smartar-ID partnership 
Organisation National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Using the ROV footage we collected on JC136 we added better quality footage and information to our existing species catalogue, but realised there was a need to standardise this resource between countries to enable merging of data sets. We held a two day workshop that our collaborators came to giving their time for free and the cost of their travel.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended a 2 day workshop to help develop a standardised approach to image interpretation giving their time for free and paying their own travel. They also contributed time to the development of the paper that came out of this effort.
Impact Outputs - Peer reviewed publication, New grant application to NERC to develop the ideas, continued efforts to develop the ideas unfunded. This was multidisciplinary and involved ecologists, computer scientists, digital media specialists.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smartar-ID partnership 
Organisation National Oceanography Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Using the ROV footage we collected on JC136 we added better quality footage and information to our existing species catalogue, but realised there was a need to standardise this resource between countries to enable merging of data sets. We held a two day workshop that our collaborators came to giving their time for free and the cost of their travel.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended a 2 day workshop to help develop a standardised approach to image interpretation giving their time for free and paying their own travel. They also contributed time to the development of the paper that came out of this effort.
Impact Outputs - Peer reviewed publication, New grant application to NERC to develop the ideas, continued efforts to develop the ideas unfunded. This was multidisciplinary and involved ecologists, computer scientists, digital media specialists.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smartar-ID partnership 
Organisation National University of Ireland, Galway
Department School of Natural Sciences
Country Ireland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Using the ROV footage we collected on JC136 we added better quality footage and information to our existing species catalogue, but realised there was a need to standardise this resource between countries to enable merging of data sets. We held a two day workshop that our collaborators came to giving their time for free and the cost of their travel.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended a 2 day workshop to help develop a standardised approach to image interpretation giving their time for free and paying their own travel. They also contributed time to the development of the paper that came out of this effort.
Impact Outputs - Peer reviewed publication, New grant application to NERC to develop the ideas, continued efforts to develop the ideas unfunded. This was multidisciplinary and involved ecologists, computer scientists, digital media specialists.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smartar-ID partnership 
Organisation Norwegian Institute of Marine Research
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Using the ROV footage we collected on JC136 we added better quality footage and information to our existing species catalogue, but realised there was a need to standardise this resource between countries to enable merging of data sets. We held a two day workshop that our collaborators came to giving their time for free and the cost of their travel.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended a 2 day workshop to help develop a standardised approach to image interpretation giving their time for free and paying their own travel. They also contributed time to the development of the paper that came out of this effort.
Impact Outputs - Peer reviewed publication, New grant application to NERC to develop the ideas, continued efforts to develop the ideas unfunded. This was multidisciplinary and involved ecologists, computer scientists, digital media specialists.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smartar-ID partnership 
Organisation Senckenberg Research Institute and Nature Museum Senckenberganlage
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Using the ROV footage we collected on JC136 we added better quality footage and information to our existing species catalogue, but realised there was a need to standardise this resource between countries to enable merging of data sets. We held a two day workshop that our collaborators came to giving their time for free and the cost of their travel.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended a 2 day workshop to help develop a standardised approach to image interpretation giving their time for free and paying their own travel. They also contributed time to the development of the paper that came out of this effort.
Impact Outputs - Peer reviewed publication, New grant application to NERC to develop the ideas, continued efforts to develop the ideas unfunded. This was multidisciplinary and involved ecologists, computer scientists, digital media specialists.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smartar-ID partnership 
Organisation University of Azores
Country Portugal 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Using the ROV footage we collected on JC136 we added better quality footage and information to our existing species catalogue, but realised there was a need to standardise this resource between countries to enable merging of data sets. We held a two day workshop that our collaborators came to giving their time for free and the cost of their travel.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended a 2 day workshop to help develop a standardised approach to image interpretation giving their time for free and paying their own travel. They also contributed time to the development of the paper that came out of this effort.
Impact Outputs - Peer reviewed publication, New grant application to NERC to develop the ideas, continued efforts to develop the ideas unfunded. This was multidisciplinary and involved ecologists, computer scientists, digital media specialists.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smartar-ID partnership 
Organisation University of Southampton
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Using the ROV footage we collected on JC136 we added better quality footage and information to our existing species catalogue, but realised there was a need to standardise this resource between countries to enable merging of data sets. We held a two day workshop that our collaborators came to giving their time for free and the cost of their travel.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended a 2 day workshop to help develop a standardised approach to image interpretation giving their time for free and paying their own travel. They also contributed time to the development of the paper that came out of this effort.
Impact Outputs - Peer reviewed publication, New grant application to NERC to develop the ideas, continued efforts to develop the ideas unfunded. This was multidisciplinary and involved ecologists, computer scientists, digital media specialists.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Article for Deep-Sea Life Newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact An article was written for the Deep-Sea life newsletter, an online publication that is distributed to the deep-sea biology community via the INDEEP project (with over 1000 subscribers). The article provided details and photographs of the research activities undertaken during the Deep Links Research cruise, which took place in May/June 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://indeep-project.org/indeep/sites/indeep/files/documents/DSL8_Nov_2016_updated.pdf
 
Description Article for Phys.org website 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact An article detailing the overall project and footage from the research cruise was published on the Phys.org website. This is a web-based science, research and technology news service with a readership of 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://phys.org/news/2016-08-underwater-robots-glimpse-deep-sea-life.html
 
Description Article for Planet Earth Magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Information about the project, its overall aims and photographs from the 2016 research cruise were provided for an article on Deep-sea research written by Sylvie Kruiniger for the NERC Planet Earth magazine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nerc.ac.uk/latest/publications/planetearth/archive/planet-earth-sprsum17/
 
Description Article for Plymouth University School of Marine Science and Engineering newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact An article was written for the Plymouth University School of Marine Science and Engineering newsletter, a publication that is distributed via email to staff and postgraduate students within the School. The article provided details and photographs of the research activities undertaken during the Deep Links Research cruise, which took place in May/June 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description JNCC Information video on marine climate change for use at COP26 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact JNCC are producing a short information video on their marine climate change work using footage collected during the DeepLinks research cruise. This video will be initially used at the COP26 conference and will then be made available via the JNCC website and other media platforms.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description JNCC Public Engagement Videos on UK's Offshore Marine Protected Areas 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact JNCC produced a series of public engagement videos on some of the UK's offshore Marine Protected Areas, which were launched in June 2018 on a number of social media platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter). As a contributor to one or more of the videos, the Deep Links project was acknowledged in the videos.

The videos included:
• UK MPA network
• JNCC work in Offshore MPAs
• Anton Dohrn Seamount
• Rockall Bank MPAs
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Media piece about cold water coral reefs 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC Earth website ran a piece on cold water coral reefs which featured images from our project (DeepLinks) and described some of the findings of the expedition.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20161031-these-deep-sea-creatures-are-10000-years-old
 
Description NERC Into the Blue (Manchester 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact For one day of the 'Into the Blue' event we engaged the public and school children with the aims of our project. We had 2 activities for children to convey different aspects of the research. One activity was designed to illustrate the role of ocean currents in dispersing larvae from one site to another, the other to illustrate how we use robots to sample animals in the deep sea. Many families and schools attended the NERC event, with the public asking questions and learning about our science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://intotheblue.nerc.ac.uk/
 
Description News piece about the JC136 cruise 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The BBC recorded a piece on the JC136 research cruise (fieldwork for the project) which went out on the 6 o'clock national news, BBC world news channel, and on the BBC news website. The story subsequently appeared on a number of web based media outlets.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36806038
 
Description Plymouth University Science & Technology Showcase 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Many local schools attended Plymouth University's annual Science and Technology Showcase at which our project had an exhibit. We had 3 activities to engage children in the research. One focused on teaching children how marine larvae use ocean currents to travel from one site to another, one focused on the technology we use to work in the deep sea, the 3rd focused on how we analyse video to extract data on animals that live in the deep sea. The pupils asked lots of questions and talked with our team about the science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/whats-on/science-technology-showcase
 
Description Project Facebook Page 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A project Facebook page was established in order to share our research with the general public. We have over 300 followers and have reached over 6000 people through our posts. Our posts are related to our research activity, including photos and videos from the research cruise, updates on current analysis, and photos and videos from the video analysis. We frequently receive comments and questions about our posts from the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://www.facebook.com/deeplinksproject/
 
Description Project Twitter Account 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A Project Twitter account was established to share our research with the general public, other researchers, and policy makers. We have 790 followers and have published 392 tweets since March 2016, with our most popular tweets reaching in excess of 10,000 people. Our tweets include photos/videos from our research cruise, links to our blog, photos/videos from the video analysis, and updates on the project in general. We frequently receive comments/questions on our tweets from the general public and other researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://twitter.com/_deeplinks
 
Description Project Website and blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A Project website was developed to share our research with the general public, with pages detailing our research aims, research methods, information on team members and links to publications and our Twitter feed. During the research cruise in 2016, 15 blogs were written for the website, reaching more than 3000 people. We received a number of comments and questions regarding our research through the project website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://deeplinksproject.wordpress.com/