Tunnicliffe, Verena


Phone number: (250) 721-7135
Email: verenat@uvic.ca
Department: Biology

Research description:

Research Description

Hydrothermal Vent Biology
Deep-Sea Ridge Crests

Expertise Profile

Research involves marine community adaptations and responses. As oceans change from over exploitation and climate impacts, even the deep ocean is strongly affected. The lab studies “extreme conditions” both natural and induced to understand changes in how ecosystems function.
Deep-water ecosystems such as hydrothermal vents, seamounts and subsea volcanoes provide natural laboratories for discovery of biodiversity, adaptations and population connectivity. The lab has discovered over 75 new species and we continue to use elements of this system to understand community maintenance and responses to extreme events. Research results have contributed to the establishment of marine conservation areas in Canada and abroad. We continue work on corals and sponges in British Columbia to demonstrate the benefits of these major structural components on the seafloor.
Research programmes also use the VENUS cabled observatory to study deep-water ecosystems using seafloor instruments connected via fibre optic cables. In particular, animal and community responses to low oxygen levels is a major problem in a changing ocean. Imagery and data are revealing dynamic behaviour of seafloor animals.

Related Links
Dr. Tunnicliffe's Faces of UVic Research video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIgsIVnPcqI

International research:

Oceanography in collaboration with German, US and British scientists.

International activities:

Extensive interactions with NOAA Ocean Exploration Program and other NOAA projects; with interdisciplinary teams studying the western Pacific volcanic arcs; with European researchers developing techniques to use deep-sea imagery for community analyses.

Community projects

Project Director of Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea

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