ATLAS is studying the biodiversity and biogeographic patterns of sensitive deep-water ecosystems and species. Forecasting changes to these ecosystems and species under future climate change scenarios will strengthen the evidence base for unlocking sustainable Blue Growth opportunities along with the protection of the marine environment. ATLAS scientists are using a combination of techniques to study the biodiversity and biogeographic patterns of sensitive deep-water ecosystems and deep-sea fish in the North Atlantic and forecast changes under future scenarios of water mass structure and ocean currents. Where benthos and fish species data are quality assured separate basin-scale biogeographic syntheses will be conducted.

Key objectives

  • Refinement of the Global Open Oceans and Deep Seabed (GOODS) decision-support tool, and modelling of species distribution and habitat suitability
  • Validation of environmental DNA (eDNA) methods for monitoring and screening deep-sea biodiversity
  • Biodiversity assessments for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive to measure Good Environmental Status indicators for a variety of ecological functions
  • Identification of areas in the North Atlantic that may constitute an Ecologically or Biologically Significant Area and assignment of conservation categories for the future development of an Atlantic-wide Marine Protected Area network

Meet the Team 

Telmo MoratoLead: Telmo Morato (IMAR-UAz)

Dr Telmo Morato has been involved in several national and international research projects focusing on seamounts, open-ocean and deep-sea ecology, fisheries management, and conservation. Telmo’s scientific output comprises about 50 peer-reviewed publications, including a book on Seamounts Ecology, Fisheries and Conservation and articles in multidisciplinary international journals that made Research Highlights' both in Science and Nature magazines. He has also recently co-authored a comment in Nature about the need for protecting and restoring the deep sea.

MarinaDeputy: Marina Carreiro-Silva (IMAR-UAz)

Dr Marina Carreiro-Silva is a marine biologist with a strong background in the biology and ecology of cold-water coral ecosystems. Her current research activities focus on the study of the impacts of climate change on cold-water coral physiology and of reef framework destruction by bioerosion processes. Other research activities include studies on specific aspects of the biology and ecology of key cold-water corals species in the Azores, such as growth, reproduction and taxonomy. She participated in several national and international research projects on cold-water coral ecosystems and has over 15 ISI publications in her field of expertise.