Nekton Mission 1: XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey, 2016-2018

Scientific papers are currently on track to be published and are being finalised and submitted throughout 2018-19 for peer review. On publication, all details will appear here.

See further Mission details.


1. Gress E, Andradi-Brown DA, Woodall L, Schofield PJ, Stanley K, Rogers AD. (2017) Lionfish (Pterois spp.) invade the upper-bathyal zone in the western Atlantic. PeerJ5:e3683

  • We report the first lionfish observations from the deep sea (>200 m) in Bermuda and Roatan, Honduras, with lionfish observed to a maximum depth of 304 m off the Bermuda platform, and 250 m off West End, Roatan.
  • Our results imply that lionfish may be present in the 200‒300 m depth range of the upper-bathyal zone across many locations in the western Atlantic, but currently are under-sampled compared to shallow habitats.
  • We highlight the need for considering deep-sea lionfish populations in future invasive lionfish management.

2. Wagner  D, Shuler A, (2017) The black coral fauna (Cnidaria: Antipatharia) of Bermuda with new records, Zootaxa 4344 (2): 367–379

  • Twenty eight black coral specimens were collected between 55‒304 m depth from Bermuda and examined based on overall morphology of colonies, polyps and skeletal spines.
  • The specimens belonged to seven species, four genera and three families: (1) Antipathes atlantica, (2) Antipathes furcata, (3) Stichopathes pourtalesi, (4) Stichopathes sp., (5) Distichopathes filix, (6) Tanacetipathes hirta, and (7) Tanacetipathes tanacetum.
  • Three species (Stichopathes sp., S. pourtalesi, and D. filix), one genus (Distichopathes) and one family (Aphanipathidae) are reported from Bermudan waters for the first time, thereby increasing the known black coral diversity of Bermuda to twelve species, five genera and four families.

3. Lucy C. Woodall, Dominic A. Andradi-Brown, Andrew S. Brierley, Malcolm R. Clark, Douglas Connelly, Rob A. Hall, Kerry L. Howell, Veerle A.I. Huvenne, Katrin Linse, Rebecca E. Ross, Paul Snelgrove, Paris V. Stefanoudis, Tracey T. Sutton, Michelle Taylor, Thomas F. Thornton, Alex D. Rogers (2018) A Multidisciplinary Approach for Generating Globally Consistent Data on Mesophotic, Deep-Pelagic, and Bathyal Biological Communities, Oceanography 31 (3)

  • Understanding patterns of diversity in ocean life requires comparable biological data and information on the potential environment drivers.
  • Here, we present a formalised framework of 20 biological, chemical, physical and socio-economic parameters we considered the most important for marine biological research.
  • We term this scheme of work the ‘General Ocean Survey and Sampling Iterative Protocol (GOSSIP)’.
  • We hope this framework will help galvanise further collaboration between scientists, improve comparability of data sets and advance knowledge of the deeper ocean (deep sea and mesophotic coral ecosystems).

4. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley, Justin Waletich (2018) Morphological plasticity of the depth generalist coral, Montastraea cavernosa, on mesophotic reefs in Bermuda, Ecology

  • We report depth-related plasticity in colony morphology of the common reef-building scleractinian coral Montastraea cavernosa.
  • Mesophotic corals have shorter septa and larger distance between neighbouring polyps than corals from shallow reefs.
  • Morphological variation could either be genetic-based or may indicate adaptation to low light conditions in mesophotic habitats.
  • Such morphological plasticity would enable this species to extend well into lower mesophotic depths (>60 m) as an extreme depth generalist and may also indicate a high capacity for adaptation.

5. Craig W. Schneider, Cristopher E. Lane, Gary W. Saunders (2018) A revision of the genus Cryptonemia (Halymeniaceae, Rhodophyta) in Bermuda, western Atlantic Ocean, including five new species and C. bermudensis (Collins & M. Howe) comb. nov., European Journal of Phycology, 1-19

  • Specimens of the red algal genus Cryptonemia collected in Bermuda over the past two decades were analysed using molecular barcoding and phylogenetics.
  • Six species were identified for Bermuda, including five new to science: C. abyssalis, C. antricola, C. atrocostalis, C. lacunicola and C. perparva.)
  • Early records of Cryptonemia reported in the islands in the 1900s were re-examined and are now considered representatives of C. antricola and C. atrocostalis.
  • The description of five new species from Bermuda represents a significant addition for the region and suggests a biodiversity hotspot for the genus in this area.