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BIO Coffee Talks: January 2019

Who: Lindsay Beazley

Bedford Institute of Oceanography

What: Predicted Distribution and Biodiversity Associated with the Vazella pourtalesi Glass Sponge Grounds off Nova Scotia Canada

Deep-sea sponge-dominated communities have gained increasing attention over the past decade from both an ecological and conservation perspective. Growing evidence not only suggests that these habitats are widely distributed, but that they also play key functional roles in the deep ocean, including but not limited to, benthic-pelagic coupling and the provision of habitat and biodiversity enhancement. Emerald Basin on the Scotian Shelf is home to a globally unique population of the glass sponge Vazella pourtalesi, first documented in the region in 1889. In 2009 DFO closed two areas on the Scotian Shelf to bottom fishing activities to protect these sponge grounds, which together encompass 259 km2. We used species distribution modelling techniques to model the spatial distribution of this species in order to ascertain the degree to which the V. pourtalesi sponge grounds remain unprotected, and to identify the environmental factors which govern its distribution. Also discussed will be the results of collaborative research conducted under the EU-funded SponGES project on the importance of these sponge grounds in providing habitat for other species.

When: Friday, January 25, 2019

Where: 10am, Needler Boardroom, VS-427, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Who: Chris Jauer


What: Davis Strait West: Petroleum Potential in a Volcanic Rifted Margin
Geo-mapping for Energy & Minerals
Eastern Arctic – Baffin Bay

The Davis Strait region between Canada and Greenland is a volcanic transform margin that has seen sporadic petroleum exploration focussed on the eastern side. A review of geophysical, oceanographic and geological data shows a new interpretation of basement architecture with evidence that an unconventional petroleum system is present. Recent BIO cruises show that high amounts of dissolved methane are present in sea water near the ocean floor close to one of two previously undescribed sedimentary basins near Cape Dyer, Baffin Island, Nunavut.

When: Friday, January 18, 2019

Where: 10am, Needler Boardroom, VS-427, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Who: Jon Grant

Dept. of Oceanography, Dalhousie University

What: Do we need a new approach to aquaculture regulation?

Aquaculture policy and regulation is challenging because it involves scientific criteria and as well as social license. Beyond criteria, thresholds of sustainability are required, with often subjective or indirect metrics. Moreover, the most daunting aspect of aquaculture regulation is spatial scale, the roadblock being an inability to move beyond views of a highly localized impact at the farm scale. The latter problem is in opposition to the ecosystem approach to aquaculture. From the basis of marine ecology, three fundamental questions can be posed:

  • Preservation of ecosystem services is the realization of sustainability; which services are most important?
  • What are indicators of ecosystem health and how can we measure them?
  • How can an evolving view of ecosystems containing aquaculture be incorporated into social license?

This talk will explore modelling and ocean observations used in assessing aquaculture sustainability including research efforts within the Ocean Frontier Institute. An overarching theme is that despite a willingness to regulate aquaculture in isolation, it must be viewed in the context of other coastal activities, even if marine spatial planning is considered 'too hard'.

When: Friday, January 11, 2019

Where: 10am, Needler Boardroom, VS-427, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Who: Igor Yashayaev (1), Ingrid Peterson (1), Christian Marchese (2,3), Laurent Oziel (4), Zeliang Wang (1), Alexander Yankovsky (5) and Simon Bélanger (2)

(1) Bedford Institute of Oceanography; (2) Université du Québec à Rimouski; (3) Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; (4) Université Laval; (5) University of South Carolina

What: Frequency and Causes of Extreme Blooms of Biological Productivity in the Labrador Sea

The Labrador Sea is one of the most studied deep basins of the subpolar North Atlantic. The key roles that this region plays in production of deep waters, ocean ventilation and circulation, and planetary carbon sequestration are the main reasons why the Labrador Sea has been intensely monitored by the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO) and its international partners since 1990. It should also be noted that in addition to its role in the planetary climate, the Labrador Sea exhibits the highest rates of primary production in the subpolar North Atlantic, and the causes of this phenomenon, linkages to physical process and the role in carbon sequestration (biological carbon) are not well understood.

In the first talk of the 2019 BIO Seminar Series we will address connectivity in biological productivity and oceanographic parameters. We will discern the causes of the highest concentration of Chlorophyll-a that was observed in the Labrador Sea in May 2015, in more than 20 years of shipboard and satellite and measurements in the area. Of a particular interest to us is the fast broad spreading of the spring mega-blooom in 2015, and here again, some connections to oceanography and new views on circulation in semi-enclosed subpolar basins will be made.

When: Friday, January 4, 2019

Where: 10am, Needler Boardroom, VS-427, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia


Last Modified: 2019-03-06