Understanding how ecosystems function and interact is a major goal of ATLAS. ATLAS is providing ground-breaking new predictive models to map Atlantic ecosystems, their species and how they function at management-relevant spatial scales. The models will also allow us to predict how these ecosystems will adapt in a future of rapidly changing climate, carbon flux and deep ocean resource exploitation.

Led by Dick van Oevelen (NIOZ), Work Package 2 is developing a new suite of predictive models which integrate hydrodynamics, food availability, organism feeding ecology and ecophysiology to predict biomass and biogeochemical activity producing a step-change in the way in which we predict ecosystem functioning now and in the future.

Key objectives

  • In-depth understanding of the food sources and food delivery pathways to sponge grounds and cold-water coral reefs in the Atlantic
  • A quantitative understanding of the metabolic rates of sponge grounds and coral reefs
  • Integration of acquired knowledge into predictive models that can be used in the design of a management plan for the Atlantic Ocean

Meet the Team

DvOLead: Dr Dick van Oevelen (NIOZ)

Dr Dick van Oevelen has a tenure-track position in the NIOZ-ES department. He is experienced in the modelling of marine benthic food webs, ranging from coastal sediments to abyssal plains, and has hands-on experience with in-situ experimentation, protein and stable isotope biogeochemistry. He participated in the S and FP7 projects HERMIONE and CoralFISH, was the principal investigator in the Statoil-funded program CORAMM and is the principal investigator in DIACORA (Norwegian Research Council) FP6 project HERMES. He recently was awarded a prestigious personal grant from the Dutch Science Foundation NWO to uncover the functioning of cold-water coral reefs.

Christian MohnDeputy: Dr Christian Mohn (Aarhus University)
Senior Scientist at the Department of Bioscience at the Aarhus University. Christian’s main interests are physical oceanography, bio-physical interactions and marine ecosystem modelling. He has 15 years of experience in observational and theoretical oceanography with a focus on fluid dynamics and flow-topography interactions in deep-sea ecosystems of the Atlantic and adjacent seas. He has participated in different EU projects including SEFOS, OASIS, BaltSeaPlan, CoralFISH, MyOcean and published 25 peer-reviewed articles and more than 30 reports and guidelines.