EU funds UK shark project

DIVING NEWS

EU funds UK shark project

Blue shark
Blue shark. (Picture: Keith Hiscock)

A marine scientist at the UK’s Marine Biological Association (MBA) has been awarded a major EU grant to help him determine how large oceanic predators such as sharks and tuna will respond to climate-driven changes in ocean oxygen.

Southampton University Prof David Sims, a senior research fellow and leader of the Sims Lab at the MBA in Plymouth, has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced grant for his Ocean Deoxyfish project looking at how predators will cope as oceanic “dead zones” expand.

ERC Advanced grants, worth up to 2.5 million euros, are designed to enable established top researchers to explore their most creative, high-risk ideas, says the MBA.

“The award of this major grant is thrilling,” said Prof Sims. “It will enable new smart-tag technology to be developed for measuring predator physiology and behaviours in unprecedented detail, which will allow more accurate predictions about how shark and tuna distributions will shift in the face of climate change to aid conservation.”

8 April 2020

“We are very proud of this thoroughly deserved grant to Professor Sims, whose world-class shark research programme contributes to our global aspirations,” said MBA director Prof Willie Wilson.

“His achievement is extraordinary since the MBA now holds three ERC grants which all help epitomise our standing as the voice of marine biology through research excellence.”

The MBA has around 1800 marine-scientist members worldwide.

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