WP5 – Innovative monitoring techniques

The main objective of WP5 is to develop innovative monitoring systems to refine and deepen our ability to detect environmental/biotic variables utilized in marine monitoring, including both, instrumental and methodological approaches.

This will fill the gaps identified in WP1 in which current monitoring systems in the Regional Seas and MS were interrogated. The innovative approach using instrumental tools will include earth observation and ecosystem model output, automated ship-board instruments and underwater analysis or automatic collection devices, whilst the approach using innovative methodologies will be based on the selection and application of the latest developments in molecular biology (second generation sequencing, high-throughput approaches) to identify species (from microorganisms to large invertebrates) or to detect genes indicating, for instance, the presence of toxins.

These innovative approaches will be directed to the identification of key variables and indicators at the three main levels of biodiversity investigated: a) species and functional groups, b) habitats and c) ecosystems. The implementation of innovative approaches requires the evaluation of the effectiveness of the newly developed instruments and methods involved. The final objective of the WP5 will be to compare the performance of these innovative techniques against those currently utilized in monitoring (including those catalogued in WP1, analysed for their cost-effectiveness in WP2 and implemented in WP3). The cost-benefit analysis and the evaluation of the convenience in using novel vs existing approaches and tools will be conducted in cooperation with WP2. The final goal of WP5 will be to determine the convenience of the use/application of the newly developed instruments and methods to environmental monitoring.

Main output: Development of innovative monitoring tools.

This work package is co-led by
Roberto Danovaro  (CONISMa) and Sabine Cochrane (APN)
RDanovaro SCochrane