Arctic PRIZE

Arctic productivity in the seasonal ice zone


Declining sea ice alters water column properties and the availability of light and nutrients that support productivity.

  • How will reduction in sea ice change ocean mixing and the amount of light that reaches the surface ocean?
  • How does this alter the timing and rates of phytoplankton growth and the supply of food to pelagic and seabed communities?

Arctic PRIZE aims to understand how seasonality, ice cover and ocean properties determine the large-scale ecosystem structure of the Arctic Ocean.

This will allow the development of predictive tools to assess how Arctic ecosystems will respond to a reducing sea ice cover.

Prof Finlo Cottier, lead investigator of Arctic Prize, based at SAMS:

“We will be working closely with Norwegian collaborators to study the relationship between ice, ocean, nutrients, and biological communities during the transition from the dark Arctic winter to the sunlit Arctic summer. We’ll be making use of UK capabilities in robotics and working on UK and Norwegian research ships to make sustained observations of important processes in the Barents Sea. The international angle is essential to achieve world-leading science in the Arctic.”


Lead Investigator

  • Professor Finlo Cottier

    Lead Investigator, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)

    Finlo Cottier is a Senior Lecturer in Polar Oceanography at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), based in Oban on the Scottish West Coast.  He heads the “Marine Science with Arctic Studies” degree programme run jointly by SAMS and the University of the Highlands and Islands.

    Finlo is also an Adjunct Professor at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway in the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology. He has been working on multi-disciplinary arctic research projects for 15 years.

    Finlo is the lead investigator of the Arctic PRIZE project. This is further strengthening the links between SAMS and Norwegian Arctic research institutes.

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