ATLAS is providing new models to identify critical source areas of marine genetic resources. Exploring how these resources are connected on regional and basin scale levels will help ATLAS understand their vulnerability to climate change and human activities. Adaptive ecosystem-based management needs new models to identify critical source areas of marine genetic resources, including those that could be exploited under Blue Growth. Policies also need to maintain basin and regional connectivity, and fully understand the vulnerability of genetic resources to N Atlantic circulation change and human activities.

New Generation Sequencing (RADseq, RADTag, 2bRAD) approaches will be used allowing high-density genome scans even on non-model species and integrated with species-specific life history data on key deep-water habitat-forming species and fish stocks. The approaches we have chosen to understand connectivity will appraise how populations of key species depend on ocean and climate dynamics at two different, but equally relevant, timescales: (1) a phylogeographic reconstruction of historical demography, connectivity and range shifts under the influence of climate changes, and (2) a combined seascape genomics–life history approach to understand the factors influencing present-day genetic diversity and migration paths.

Key objectives

  • Identification of key areas that maintain metapopulations of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem indicator taxa and deep-sea fish species
  • Understanding of whether fisheries and habitat loss have degraded exploited fish meta-populations
  • Establishment of a new adaptive management framework that integrates meta-population genomics with boundary conditions in the North Atlantic with spatial management. The aim is to project the implications of resource exploitation and other spatial planning options to manage Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems and Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas

Meet the Team 

Dr Sophie Arnaud HaondLead: Dr Sophie Arnaud-Haond (Ifremer)

Dr Sophie Arnaud-Haond is a researcher in the laboratory “Marine biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation (MARBEC)”. She is an evolutionary ecologist working on the connectivity, demography and conservation of marine populations and resources with a particular emphasis on exploited resources (fisheries targets or bycatch) and species structuring habitats (corals, seagrasses). She developed a national network of researchers working on marine connectivity using different tools and approaches (GDR MarCo, since 2010, approx. 70 participants, and is leading a national research project on the development of analytical and bioinformatics tools to analyse population genomics of partially clonal organisms including corals (ANR Clonix, She was responsible for the Theme 5 of the HERMIONE project (Biological capacities) and for WP4 of CoralFISH (Developing monitoring indicators: genetic fingerprinting of cumulative long-term effects of fishing impacts on corals).

Dr Lénaïck MenotDeputy: Dr Lénaïck Menot (Ifremer)

Dr Lénaïck Menot is a researcher in the Laboratory “EnvironnmentProfond”. His research interests lie on the ecology of deep-sea ecosystems with an emphasis on the influence of anthropogenic forcing on the structure and dynamics of benthic communities. His experience spans studies on the impact of oil and gas exploration and mineral mining to habitat mapping in the framework of the MSFD.