Sponge grounds are among the most diverse, ecologically and biologically important marine ecosystems of the deep-sea, and yet they have so far received very little research attention.
We are now part of a large EU funded H2020 consortium to investigate deep-sea North Atlantic sponge grounds (i.e. sponge-dominated communities).
The main goal of the project SponGES (www.deepseasponges.org) is to develop an integrated ecosystem-based approach to preserve and sustainably use deep-sea sponge ecosystems of the North Atlantic.
Coordinator: University of Bergen, Norway (Prof. Hans Tore Rapp).
Co-coordinators: Florida Atlantic University, USA (Prof. Shirley Pomponi) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Prof. Ellen Kenchington)
Consortium: 18 EU, USA and Canadian partners
Timeframe: 4 years (March 2016 – February 2020)
Our group at Uppsala University, will further explore the metabolic diversity of the main sponges from north Atlantic sponge grounds, combined with genomic, transcriptomic and metagenomic data.