David Barnes

About me
 
Dave studies the interactions between benthos (life on the seabed) and their environment.  He mainly focuses on the ecology of continental shelves in polar and remote island regions, working from research vessels (such as RRS James Clark Ross) or research stations (such as Rothera, West Antarctic Peninsula).  Studying the ecology of organisms can aid our understanding of what shapes biodiversity, as well as how to monitor, manage and conserve it, but also how to estimate and harness the ecosystem services it provides.  This involves working in a wider team which includes many different types of biological scientists (such as molecular ecologists, physiologists, biogeographers and foodweb modellers) but also researchers in other disciplines (such as geologists, oceanographers, climatologists and glaciologists).  Dave is based at BAS HQ, Cambridge where he also teaches in the Zoology Department of Cambridge University.
 
Projects 
 
ASCCC: Principal Investigator for the project, utilising his skills as a marine benthic ecologist and techniques developed to determine carbon sequestration in marine animals.
 
SO-AntECO (South Orkneys- State of the Antarctic Ecosystem) : Marine benthic ecologist investigating marine biodiversity and carbon accumulation in bryozoa around the South Orkney Islands. The seafloor around the South Orkney Islands has been shown to be an area with exceptionally high biodiversity. The marine animals there represent approximately one fifth of all species recorded for the entire Southern Ocean.
 
Ascension Islands Marine Sustainability (AIMS) : Main Assessor the biodiversity of Ascension Island and utilising new data to determine sustainability and marine protection status.
 
Monitoring climate change in action : Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula is in a hot spot of regional climate warming and therefore the ideal place to study climate change in real time. However to identify such effects it is essential to disentangle them from the complex patterns of seasonality and inter-annual variation. This is where long-term datasets are essential, providing robust base-line data for the analysis of the effects of climate change.
 
Changing biodiversity : West Antarctic seas are rapidly changing and one of the big questions is how marine biodiversity will respond to climate change. This is one of the BAS Grand Challenges: Polar Change. To enable us to tackle this question, we first need to establish comprehensive baseline data on how many species are found in the shallow waters around the Rothera Research Station, where they are and how they vary with habitat (e.g. soft sediments versus rocks) and season.
 
The Heated Settlement Panels : How will life and biodiversity on Earth will respond to climate change? This information is particularly urgent for the waters along the Antarctic Peninsula, which are experiencing rapid regional climate change. Understanding the effects on marine life in this region is one of the BAS Grand Challenges: Polar Change.
 
SGMarBase (South Georgia Marine Biodiversity Database) : SGMarBase was created as a repository to establish baseline data on the macro- and mega-benthic biodiversity of the South Georgia shelf and slope, enabling the identification of key endemic species and biodiversity hotspots. It marks the first attempt to map the biogeography of an archipelago south of the Polar Front and integrates biological data with physical data layers such as seabed topography and physical oceanography.