First BIOPOLE paper published!

Quantifying the roles of food intake and stored lipid for growth and development throughout the life cycle of a high-latitude copepod, and consequences for ocean carbon sequestration

By Thomas R. Anderson, Dag O.Hessen, Wendy C. Gentleman, Andrew Yool and Daniel J. Mayor.

Frontiers in Marine Science, open access.

Author Tom Anderson explains the key purpose of the paper: “We investigate the role of lipids in the life-cycle of high-latitude copepods by developing and presenting a new model that explicitly separates storage reserves and structural biomass in these animals.

The model is used to simulate an individual copepod at Station Mike (66°N, 2°E) in the Norwegian Sea, with results indicating that the primary function of lipid is to support metabolism during diapause and gonad development. The resulting respiration of lipid led to an estimated sequestration of carbon in deep waters via the “seasonal lipid pump” (SLP) that is remarkably similar in magnitude to the contribution made by of particles via gravitational sinking pump. The SLP has not as yet been explicitly represented in the global biogeochemical models that are used to project ocean-climate interactions.

Our new copepod model paves the way for this to take place, as well as highlighting important knowledge gaps in our mechanistic understanding of the ecology and physiology of lipid use by high-latitude copepods including as a supply of energy, for gonad development, egg production, mortality and in the regulation of buoyancy.”

FIGURE 1 Fat-laden lipid sac (outlined in red) within Calanus finmarchicus; scale bar is 1 mm. (image from Mayor et al., 2020© D.J. Mayor).

You will be able to find all BIOPOLE papers listed on our Publications page.

BIOPOLE Kick-Off Meeting

The Kick-Off meeting for BIOPOLE was held on the 27th – 28th April 2022, hosted by the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton.

BIOPOLE kick-off meeting attendees, in person and virtual.

We had a really productive hybrid meeting, with 54 project members and Programme Advisory Board members getting the chance to meet each other and build collaborations, but also allowing productive involvement to those who couldn’t attend in person. The meeting consisted of plenary presentations and breakout sessions for the work packages, and groups such as the Executive Board and the Early Career Members.

BIOPOLE underway

I am delighted to announce that project BIOPOLE is underway. Our project will undertake a truly ambitious programme of research in both polar regions. Our aim is to understand the role that both poles play in determining the chemical balance of the oceans. It is this balance that facilitates the productivity of all marine life. The team of over 60 scientists will gather at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton next week to share further thoughts and add greater detail to the 5-year plan of research. This research will include deployment of advanced autonomous instruments capable of gathering data in critical but otherwise inaccessible parts of the polar oceans. It will also make use of one of world’s most advanced research vessels, the Sir David Attenborough. We can’t wait to get going. Geraint Tarling (Principal Investigator)


Welcome to the NERC funded BIOPOLE! The programme has not yet started, we are just in the process of setting up, we will update more when everything is finalised.