From June 2017, research teams from the European program, JPI Oceans, will take part in the Odyssey and will use the Race for Water vessel to carry out their studies. Established in 2011, JPI Oceans is a strategic program coordinating marine research among European member states and associated countries. Among the joint initiatives launched by JPI Oceans, the “Ecological Aspects of Micro plastics” program brings together four projects covering the plastic debris, including EPHEMARE (managed by Prof. Ricardo Beiras) and WEATHER-MIC (managed by Dr. Annika Jahnke and Dr. Hans Peter Arp).
The WEATHER-MIC project, led by Dr. Annika Jahnke (UFZ Leipzig, Germany) and Dr. Hans Peter Arp (NGI Norway), aims to study the degradation of micro plastics in the marine environment.
Team: Dr. Hans Peter Arp of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, and up to four other scientists will navigate on the Race for Water to take samples.
Samples for research: Sediments, Planktons, Sea water.
Lead by Prof. Ricardo Beiras (University of Vigo, Spain), the EPHEMARE project studies the ecotoxicological effects of micro plastics on marine ecosystems (pelagic and benthic).
Sampling: Sea water/ Planktons
The Plankton Planet project takes the pulse of plankton biodiversity and studies the health of our ocean on appropriate spatial-temporal scales through an innovative volunteer program. It is supported by scientists from the French Scientific Research Institute ( Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – CNRS) and the Tara-Océans organization. For this program, citizen sailors harvest marine plankton during their sailing journeys. The samples are then analyzed by international experts in oceanography back at the Roskoff laboratory (Brittany).
Project Coordinator: Dr. Colomban de Vargas (director of the Roskoff laboratory and the Plankton Planet project), and Dr Calixte Berger (Manager of the Plankton Planet Project)
Team: up to 6 scientists on board for three to four weeks. Estimated late 2017 – 2018
Study: High-definition imagery of plankton, 3D rendering of plankton.