Time’s running out – pre-proposals due this Friday!!

MNF Call for Applications 2017-18 flyer (front)MNF Call for Applications 2017-18 flyer (back)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-proposals for sea time on RV Investigator in 2017-18 are due this Friday, 31 July 2015.

The pre-proposal document is a tool to support, enable and inspire collaboration between scientists and will not be assessed, but it is compulsory.

Full applications are due on Friday, 4 September 2015.

For more information jump on the MNF website!


The MNF is calling for applications for 2017-18 and multi-year applications from 2017-18 to 2019-20!

The deadline for compulsory pre-proposals is 31 July 2015.

Full applications are then due by 4 September 2015.

MNF Call for Applications 2017-18 flyer (front)MNF Call for Applications 2017-18 flyer (back)

You can find all the information you’ll  need on the MNF’s applying for sea time web page http://www.mnf.csiro.au/Applying-for-sea-time.aspx

If you need to brush up on what’s possible on board Investigator, here are the fact sheets:

 


Incredible larval lobster video!

INV_03 2015 Prof Iain Suthers (image MNF Max McGuire)

Professor Iain Suthers from UNSW recently led a voyage on board RV Investigator  from Brisbane to Sydney.

The teams were working around the clock to deploy equipment and collect crucial data to help us better understand how cold eddies that spiral off the East Australian Current play a pivotal role in our fisheries.

The larval lobsters collected on the voyage are completely amazing – they’re transparent like a piece of cellophane, and thin and flat like piece of paper.

You should check out the video, it’s incredible!

IN2015_03 Larval lobsters (transcript)

 


Check out the volcano cluster found by RV Investigator!

Australia’s new ocean-going research vessel Investigator has discovered extinct volcanoes likely to be 50 million years old, about 250 km off the coast of Sydney in 4,900 m of water.

The chief scientist for the voyage, UNSW marine biologist Professor Iain Suthers, said while we searching for the nursery grounds for larval lobsters, the ship was also routinely mapping the seafloor when the volcanoes were discovered.

IN2015_03 Volcanic cluster centre at 33 31 S, 153 52 E (transcript)

The centre of the volcanic cluster is 33 31 S, 153 52 E, which is 248 km from Sydney Heads. The cluster is 20 km long and six km wide and the seafloor 4890 metres deep, with the highest point in the cluster rising up to 3998 metres.


RV Investigator discovers a 50 million year old volcano cluster off the coast of Sydney

THIS MEDIA RELEASE WAS DISTRIBUTED BY UNSW AND ANU ON MONDAY 13 JULY 2015

inv2015_v03_caldera_4_scalebar_10kmlong

Australia’s new ocean-going research vessel Investigator has discovered extinct volcanoes likely to be 50 million years old, about 250 km off the coast of Sydney in 4,900 m of water.

The chief scientist for the voyage, UNSW marine biologist Professor Iain Suthers, said while we searching for the nursery grounds for larval lobsters, the ship was also routinely mapping the seafloor when the volcanoes were discovered.

“The voyage was enormously successful, not only did we discover a cluster of volcanoes on Sydney’s doorstep, we were amazed to find that an eddy off Sydney was a hotspot for lobster larvae at a time of the year when we were not expecting them,” Professor Suthers said.

The four extinct volcanoes in the cluster are calderas, which form after a volcano erupts and the land around them collapses, forming a crater. The largest is 1.5 km across the rim and it rises 700 m from the sea floor.

Professor Richard Arculus from the Australian National University, an igneous petrologist and a world-leading expert on volcanoes said these particular types of volcanoes are really important to geoscientists, because they’re like windows into the seafloor.

“They tell us part of the story of how New Zealand and Australia separated around 40-80 million years ago and they’ll now help scientists target future exploration of the sea floor to unlock the secrets of the Earth’s crust,’ Professor Arculus said.

“They haven’t been found before now, because the sonar on the previous Marine National Facility (MNF) research vessel, Southern Surveyor, could only map the sea floor to 3,000 m, which left half of Australia’s ocean territory out of reach,” Professor Arculus said.

“On board the new MNF vessel, Investigator, we have sonar that can map the sea floor to any depth, so all of Australia’s vast ocean territory, is now within reach and that is enormously exciting,” Professor Arculus said.

Professor Suthers said the 94 m Investigator has capabilities that marine scientists in Australia have never had before and it will be key to unlocking the secrets the oceans around our continent and beyond.

Investigator is able to send and receive data while we’re at sea, which meant the team back on base at UNSW in Sydney could analyse the information we were collecting at sea and send back their analysis, along with satellite imagery, so we could chase the eddies as they formed,” Professor Suthers said.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to respond directly to the changing dynamics of the ocean, and for a biological oceanographer like me, it doesn’t get more thrilling,” Professor Suthers said.

“It was astounding to find juvenile commercial fish species like bream and tailor 150 km offshore, as we had thought once they were swept out to sea that was end of them, but in fact these eddies are nursery grounds along the east coast of Australia,’

The research voyage led by Professor Iain Suthers departed Brisbane on 3 June and concluded on 18 June in Sydney, with 28 scientists from UNSW, Latrobe University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Sydney, the University of Auckland, the University of Technology Sydney and Southern Cross University.

The centre of the volcanic cluster is 33 31 S, 153 52 E, which is 248 km from Sydney Heads. The cluster is 20 km long and six km wide and the seafloor 4890 metres deep, with the highest point in the cluster rising up to 3998 metres.

Marine National Facility background

RV Investigator is a 94 metre purpose-built research vessel, capable of travelling 10,000 nm in a single voyage, accommodating up to 40 scientists and support staff, from the equator to the Antarctic ice-edge. The $120 million ship was commissioned into operation in December 2014 by the Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, and supports atmospheric, oceanographic, biological and geoscience research.

The Marine National Facility is a blue-water research capability, funded by the Australian Government and managed by CSIRO on behalf of the nation. It is available to all Australian scientists and their international collaborators, with access granted on the basis of proposals that are internationally peer reviewed, and independently assessed for science quality and contribution to the national interest.

 


Checking out eddies on the East Australian Current in RV Investigator

The scientists, crew and support staff on board RV Investigator are enjoying some beautiful weather off the coast of northern and central New South Wales this past week.

The vessel is out in the middle of one of Australia’s busiest shipping lanes, conducting research into eddies that spiral off the East Australian Current, with Professor Iain Suthers from the University of New South Wales as the Chief Scientist.

Before the ship departed Brisbane, Professor Suthers sent through the image below  of the eddies he was hoping to study. Right now there is a 100 km wide eddy off the coast of Byron Bay and a very productive one only 30 km diameter off the coast of Forster, very similar to the image below. It appears to be an offshore nursery area.

The whales, dolphins and tuna think so too – the officers on the bridge have recorded impressive numbers in the Forster eddy feeding on what appears to be sardine.

Overall, I think we need to focus on the excitement around the new ship, which was built to perform world-leading multi-disciplinary research in the national interest.  Regarding the spare 120 days, we are not ruling anything in or out, rather our focus is to maximise the utilisation of the ship for the purpose for which it was provided.  The national interest test includes whether the research will provide data in priority areas, if the data will be publicly available and if other researchers are able to collaborate (onboard or by sharing samples for example) to add value.

Oceanographers from UNSW led by Prof Moninya Roughan have release satellite drifters into the eddies, revealing the characteristic clockwise spiral of these oases in the ocean.

Here’s a photo from on board with the team about to deploy the lagrangian drifter, which is a piece of equipment that can either float on the surface or at a specific ocean depth, to collect data about an ocean current.

V03 2015 Iain Suthers

Meanwhile scientists from UTS led by Prof Martina Doblin are discovering the basis for this productivity, in the form of single celled algae and photosynthetic bacteria and even viruses.

Around the clock they’ve been deploying equipment and collecting crucial data that will help us better understand how cold eddies play a pivotal role in our fisheries. In the plankton nets we have found over 80 different families of larval fish, including popular species such as larval yellowtail kingfish, dolphinfish, flatfish, and eels. V03 2015 Iain Suthers larval fish


A Queen’s Birthday Honour for Toni Moate!

Toni Moate

We’re pretty chuffed that the Executive Director of the Future Research Vessel Project, Toni Moate has been awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service in Australian marine and atmospheric science, as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List!

The media release sent out today, Monday 8 June 2015 said…

The Governor-General and Chancellor of the Order of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), approved the awards that were announced today in The Queen’s Birthday 2015 Honours List. The Queen’s Birthday 2015 Honours List recognises a diverse range of contributions and service across all fields, including professional endeavours, community service, Defence and Emergency Services personnel, and acts of bravery.

“We are fortunate as a community to have so many outstanding people willing to dedicate themselves to the betterment of our nation and it is only fitting that they have today been recognised through the Australian Honours system. Since 1975 these awards have drawn national attention to the personal efforts of individuals, made willingly, without thought of recognition or recompense,” the Governor-General said.

Ms Moate has excelled in leadership of both research and development in the fields of marine and atmospheric science during her career of over 20 years with the CSIRO. She is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading research managers and, most recently, as one of the world’s top marine infrastructure professionals. She played a pivotal role in an extraordinarily large and complex national project, namely delivering the Marine National Facility’s new research vessel Investigator. Under her direction the vessel was delivered on scope and on budget. Ms Moate led a rigorous multinational procurement and delivery process to design, build and commission the new vessel, which represents a step forward in Australia’s marine science capabilities that will serve our nation with distinction for many decades to come.

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