Project Title: Ecotoxicology of deep-sea organisms exposed to deep-sea mining impacts in the Pacific Ocean based on field and laboratory experimentation
Project Funding: Deep Green Metals Inc.
Supervisors: Prof Ted Henry and Prof Andrew Sweetman
The vast resources of commercially important elements held in the deep sea offer an attractive alternative to remaining low-grade terrestrial deposits to meet rising demand stemming from the transition to renewable energy. The extraction of mineral deposits in the deep-sea may pose significant ecotoxicological risk to deep-sea fauna. The small size, slow rates of population growth, and long generation times could make benthic fauna in the deep sea especially vulnerable to the effects of deep sea mining, though little is known about the physicochemistry of toxicants arising from these activities or their effects.
As part of the Deep Green Baseline project, my PhD project seeks to investigate the ecotoxicology of deep-sea benthic organisms from areas targeted for deep-sea mining in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean via field and laboratory experiments to assess toxicological responses at different levels of biological organisation. The overall aim is to develop foundations for understanding deep-sea ecotoxicology.