Microbes to Megafauna Modelling of Arctic Seas


Shrinking sea-ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is already causing increased primary production, but the scope for this to affect higher trophic levels and charismatic megafauna such as whales, seals and polar bears, is extremely uncertain and hard to predict.

In this project we will employ mathematics and computer science to predict the likely flows of nutrient through the marine food web, from microbes to megafauna, as the physical environment in the Atlantic Arctic changes.

A key objective is to examine trade-offs between the harvesting of fish and invertebrates in order to sustain Arctic communities, and cultural values (reputation, tourism) arising from the abundances of marine megafauna in the pristine Arctic environment.

This project is co-funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and by UKRI NERC.

Professor Mike Heath, Lead Investigator of MiMeMo:

On 30 November 2017, 10 major fishing nations agreed not to develop fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean for at least the next 16 years, to give time for development of scientific understanding before fisheries are established. This was a hugely important decision, and our project will directly address these issues.

Lead Investigators

  • Professor Mike Heath

    Co-lead investigator, University of Strathclyde

    My current research interests are the mathematical and statistical modelling of fish populations and fisheries, and the dynamics of ecosystems. I am co-lead investigator of the MiMeMo project, and a co-investigator on the DIAPOD project.

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  • Dr Ute Daewel

    Co-lead investigator, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research

    My main research interests are focused on investigating biological-physical interactions effecting different trophic levels of the ecosystem by developing and utilizing relevant coupled model systems. One major purpose of my recent research is to overcome the limitations of lower-trophic-level models for simulating and understanding changes in the marine food web and higher trophic level production by developing the consistently formulated E2E model framework ECOSMO E2EI am a co-lead investigator in the MiMeMo project.

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