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Leonardo Tamborrino

Institution: University of Bremen
Room: MARUM II, room 3260
Phone: +49 421 218-65849
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Other webpage(s): Leonardo's MARUM web page


Leonardo Tamborrino

PhD project:

Spa­tio-tem­poral dis­tri­bu­tion of cold-wa­ter cor­als and coral mounds in SE At­lantic

Cold-wa­ter cor­als (CWC) are the en­gin­eers of large deep-sea eco­sys­tems and form unique biod­iversity hot­spots along most of the world's con­tin­ental mar­gins. However, only re­cently the sig­ni­fic­ance of CWC (also on a global scale) has been re­vealed triggered by the pro­gress in deep-sea tech­no­lo­gies. CWC have the cap­ab­il­ity to con­struct sig­ni­fic­ant large seabed struc­tures known as cold-wa­ter coral mounds. Present know­ledge about CWC and coral mounds re­gard­ing their form­a­tion and de­vel­op­ment through time, their spa­tial dis­tri­bu­tion, their eco­logy and their sens­it­iv­ity to en­vir­on­mental change de­rived mainly from stud­ies in the North At­lantic Ocean. For other re­gions, in par­tic­u­lar in the low lat­it­udes, only few scattered re­ports of CWC ex­ist. One ex­ample, for a low lat­it­ude CWC site is the up­welling area off An­gola and Nam­i­bia. The know­ledge about the oc­cur­rence of CWC in this area was rather sparse. However, re­cent hy­droacous­tic cam­paigns re­vealed ex­ten­ded areas show­ing nu­mer­ous seabed struc­tures, which re­semble coral mounds of the NE At­lantic. The M122 cruise in early 2016 has con­duc­ted a sur­vey and sampling pro­gramme in the An­golan-Nam­i­bian off­shore in or­der to:

(a) in­vest­g­ate the hy­droacous­tic­ally de­tec­ted seabed struc­tures formed by CWC;
(b) in­vest­ig­ate their spa­tial dis­tri­bu­tion, their vi­tal­ity and the pre­vail­ing en­vir­on­mental set­ting;
(c) re­con­struct the spa­tio-tem­poral de­vel­op­ment of these eco­sys­tems.

Us­ing ma­ter­ial (acous­tic data, ROV video foot­age, sur­face and core sed­i­ments) newly col­lec­ted from the Nam­i­bian and An­golan con­tin­ental mar­gins dur­ing the M122 re­search cruise, the present Ph.D. pro­ject aims to re­con­struct the spa­tial and tem­poral dis­tri­bu­tion of CWC and the form­a­tion and de­vel­op­ment of coral mounds with spe­cial em­phasis on de­scrib­ing their geo­lo­gical char­ac­ter­ist­ics in this re­gion in re­sponse to chan­ging en­vir­on­mental con­di­tions.

Thesis committee:

Prof. Dr. Dierk Hebbeln University of Bremen
Dr. Claudia Wienberg University of Bremen
Dr. Jürgen Titschack University of Bremen
Dr. Furu Mienis Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research


GLOMAR Research Theme B