Students Staff

04 July 2014

Essex joins global snapshot of what lives beneath the waves

Colchester Campus

Created with flickr slideshow.

Water samples taken off the Essex coast have been included in a unique global study into what lives in our oceans and seas.

Marine biology students from the University of Essex joined 184 other scientific teams from across the globe for Ocean Sampling Day where they all had to take a water sample on the day of the summer solstice to identify the microbes in it.

The project provides the biggest data set of marine research that has ever been taken on one single day and will give a unique snapshot of the biodiversity of the world’s oceans and seas.

The Essex students took their samples off the coast of Brightlingsea, which were then filtered to extract all the DNA and then sent to the science team in Bremen, Germany, who organised the project.

Marine biologist Dr Michael Steinke, from the University’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “The vast data set from this project will be incredibly valuable for marine scientists as it gives a greater understanding of the biodiversity of our oceans and seas.

“As part of this project water samples were taken from as far afield as the Arctic, New Zealand, Africa and Hawaii and we are glad that Essex is in there too.”

Essex marine biology student Lucy White, who took part in the sampling said: “Ocean Sampling Day reminded me of why I took Marine Biology as a degree in the first place, particularly at Essex. It reignited my passion for the sea as well as taught me further sampling skills to use in the future.”

Fellow student Jasmine Sanders, who also took part in the project where air and surface temperatures were also measured, added: “I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend the longest day of summer.”


Note to Editors

Photographs of the Ocean Sampling Day are available on the University of Essex flickr account. For more details please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 872400 or email: comms@essex,


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