Recent News and Updates

Recent News and Updates

Submescale Fronts Dynamics and Primary Production from Space

This PhD project is in the continuity of our SWOT proposal (DIEGO, WP6 – P. Rivière) funded by CNES. It builds upon the high resolution altimetric data that will come out from the fast sampling phase of SWOT in 2023. Submesoscale structures, associated with intense vertical velocities during frontogenesis, can stimulate surface primary production by local nutrient inputs into the well-lit surface layers and thus impact the entire food web up to top predators (Rivière et al. 2019, Siegelman et al 2019-a, Lévy et al. 2012). However only a few studies have addressed this issue because of the great difficulty of observing both the physical and biological processes involved at the same time and at these scales. But another reason is the difficult to get a precise estimation of the strain field which is responsible of the frontogenesis. Zhang et al. (2019) initiated a first approach in this direction by combining Lagrangian float data and satellite observations. They demonstrated, on a global scale, the strong relationship between mesoscale deformation field, frontogenesis and surface primary production. They showed that regions of highest strain intensity are regions where the surface primary production, estimated as the Lagrangian derivative of the chlorophyll concentration, is high. Following the same approach, Zhang and Qiu (2020) examined also the dynamics of spiral chlorophyll filaments observed at the periphery of mesoscale eddies. 

All these results, obtained with low resolution conventional altimetry, clearly confirmed that filaments of chlorophyll observed in ocean color images are stimulated by the dynamics of submesoscale structures (in particular vertical velocities) rather than simple tracer lines elongated by the straining flow field. The SWOT mission will provide a new altimetric dataset with a high-resolution never reached before, ten times finer than AVISO. In particular SWOT’s high spatial resolution will allow to describe the deformation field associated to mesoscale eddies as it was never done before. This strain field at fine scale (or the cross-front horizontal velocity gradient) is crucial for the estimation of density gradient growth rate and associated vertical velocity (Siegelman et al 2020) which play an important role in stimulating primary production. In this PhD project we propose to combine this high-resolution altimetric data from SWOT, during the fast sampling phase because of the high resolution in space and time, with high-resolution ocean color images to estimate with unprecedented accuracy the primary production in submesoscale structures. 

The first step of this PhD subject proposes to develop new tools to estimate the strain field from satellite SWOTdata. Recent studies using innovative Lagrangian tools (Berti & Lapeyre 2014) have shown that it was possible to reconstruct a high-resolution SST field from low resolution SST and altimetry in SQG simulations. This methodology will be tested, in the Gulf Stream area, by using a high-resolution numerical simulation (GIGATL)to deduce, from SQG approximation, a high-resolution estimation of the strain field. This strain field will be compared to Lyapunov exponents that have been shown to be good indicator of frontogenesis (Siegelman et al.2019-b). This methodology will then be implemented in different regions with real altimetric data from the SWOT fast sampling phase. The regions will be chosen according to Lawrence and Callies (2022) to ensure a minimum effect of internal tides on the submesoscale dynamics and avoid the filtering of internal tides from SWOT data. 

The second step of this PhD thesis will then use these new estimations of the strain field to detect and quantify submesosclale fronts, including diagnosis of vertical velocity using the ω-equation, during the fast sampling phase. 

This step is a crucial step that will identify the regions of high deformation rates and characterize the associated submesoscale fronts with a completely novel satellite altimetric dataset. Then the third step of the PhD thesis will characterize and quantify the primary production of such submesoscale fronts by using Lagrangian surface drifters in different oceanic regions combined with SWOT altimetry and high- resolution ocean color products in strong strain rate areas following a methodology close to Zhang et al. 2019. The expected results will reveal, at an unprecedented resolution with observations, the surface primary production induced by submesoscale fronts in high strain regions. The PhD student, based at the LEMAR, will be supervised by Pascal Rivière (HDR, LEMAR, Brest), in collaboration with Guillaume Lapeyre (LMD Paris) and Jonathan Gula (LOPS, IUEM) who are both involved in DIEGO CNES-TOSCA, and Patrice Klein (LMD, Paris – CalTech, Pasadena, USA)

IsBlue: Post-Doctoral Programme for Young Scientists

The aim of the programme is to give creative young scientists the opportunity to develop their own research project in one of the ISblue laboratories (Western Brittany, France). 

ISblue themes range from the coastal environment to the deep sea, bringing together research in all disciplines: ocean and geosciences, ecosystems, new technologies for observation, and the human societies living near the sea. Four fellowships will be awarded in 2023. Fellows are appointed for two years. Funding includes salary and support for travel or small equipment and supplies. 

Deadline for applications: Sunday April 30th, 2023 

More information:

Ocean Literacy Training for Architects and Urban Planners

The call for applications for the IOC/UNESCO online Ocean Literacy Training hosted in Ocean Teacher Global Academy dedicated to Architects, Designers and Urban Planners is now open! 

Are you an Architect, Urban Planner or Designer and want to explore how the ocean can unlock your creative potential? 

Unleash your inner explorer! Learn more about how our ocean is connected to us and how this knowledge can help you become a better ocean-literate professional. Reap the rewards of being ahead of the game by having a deeper understanding of how the ocean can impact your work. 

Apply now – the deadline is 6th March and successful candidates will be notified by 8th March! 

This course will provide architects, designers, and urban and marine planners with an overview of how the ocean works and how to take it into account when planning and designing. Drawing from the experience of leading professionals in these sectors, you will learn through different examples how the ocean can be integrated into your projects at various scales: 

– from the design of a small product and the lifecycle of materials 

– the design of buildings, infrastructure, and urban systems that interact with the overall planning of our cities, waterways, and the ocean 

– blue inspiration that can help architects, planners, and designers enhance their creations by observing the natural patterns of the ocean or by using innovative materials such as seaweed 

You will come out of this training knowing various tools and approaches that will enable you to deal with the complexity of the ocean and guide you in your decision-making process. 

The course is free and will be held from 15 – 29 March 2023 with two webinars taking place on 16th March and 29th March at 15 CET! 

This project was made possible due to the support of the Government of Sweden.

Eighth European Phycological Congress

After Zagreb in 2019, we are pleased to invite you to Brest (Brittany, France) for the 8th European Phycological Congress “Scientific Opportunities for a Global Algal Revolution” on behalf of the Federation of European Phycological Societies council and the French Phycological Society. France has a long and proud tradition of phycological research and has a very diverse algal flora. Brittany is a world hotspot for seaweed diversity with about 700 species and has historically developed a flourishing macroalgal industry that still maintains its leadership in Europe. The region also hosts important research institutes dedicated to microalgae research and oceanography. 

The European Phycological Congress series began in Cologne, Germany in 1996 and has since continued the tradition of bringing together phycologists from around the world every four years. Its main objective is to provide a forum for discussion of the latest scientific, technological and societal developments in phycological research. EPC8 includes plenary presentations, a series of symposia grouped into 6 themes, contributed papers and posters covering a wide range of topics such as algal diversity, ecology, genomics, cell biology, applied phycology and societal perception of algae. To encourage cross-community connections, each symposium will address micro- and macroalgae from marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems whenever possible. We look forward to welcoming you to Brest in August 2023 for EPC8!

Multiplier Event: Doctors for Blue and Sustainable Growth

The Multiplier event: “Doctors for Blue and Sustainable Growth” took place on December 1 st,2022, as part of Innovazul. The event was organized by SEA-EU DOC and aimed at finding synergies between the skills provided by the doctoral programs in marine and maritime sciences with the skills demanded by the non-academic labour market. 

The SEA-EU DOC project coordinator at the University of Cadiz, Dr. Irene Laiz, explained the main objectives of the project and the work carried out, including the development of an online platform to foster networking among PhD students, PhD holders, and employers within the blue economy sector ( 

The event included the participation of five invited speakers, including one representative of a doctoral program from the University of Cadiz (Dr. Laura Martín Díaz, Coordinator of the PhD program “Management and Conservation of the Sea”), one representative of the public sector (Dr. Pablo Quero García, project manager at the Provincial Energy Agency of Cadiz (APEC), a non-profit foundation with funding from the Provincial Government of Cadiz), one representative of the private sector (Dr. Mercedes García Barroso, head of production at Tecnoambiente), one representative of a non-profit technological centre (Dr. Erik-jan Malta, head of the Department of Applied Research &Innovation at CTAQUA), and one entrepreneur (Dr. Beatriz Díaz Garduño, Copywriter and content creator). 

The speakers shared their own experience as doctors working outside academia, as well as their institutions main interests and objectives. Finally, a very participative open debate on “Skills beyond academia” took place, in which the invited speakers, the project coordinator, and the attendees discussed about the main skills offered by the doctoral schools, the skills demanded by the non-academic sector, or the perception of the skills acquired by PhD students. 

The debate revealed many synergies and the need for close collaborations, mainly between the public sector and non-profit foundations with the universities, with the twofold objective of adapting the doctorate training to the market needs and increasing the awareness of PhD holders’ skills among the non-academic sector. 

Many people attended the event, including researchers from public research centres, non-profit research foundations, private companies, PhD students, and universities, both local and from foreign countries.