By virtue of its location, the OSC provides access to the flora and fauna of the northwest Atlantic Ocean and is uniquely suited for shore-based studies of ocean processes and sub-Arctic and Arctic species. Primary research themes include aquaculture (fish and invertebrates), and oceanography (biological and chemical), and the basic aspects of behaviour, biochemistry, molecular biology, genomics and physiology that underwrite these themes.
Research projects include: impacts of environmental challenges on fish physiology; evolutionary and behavioural ecology; population dynamics and the role of gelatinous zooplankton in the marine carbon cycle; reproductive biology, larval ecology, feeding, and the ecological relationships between benthic organisms. Key to the success of these research projects and those external to the OSC and Memorial University is the OSC's Field Services Unit (FSU), which is responsible for the procurement (by a variety of methods, including diving) and safe transport of healthy marine organisms, for the installation of field equipment, and the monitoring or sourcing of field sites. This application represents a request for funds for a Customized Research Support Vehicle that will be an integral part of the FSU unit and will provide the following: 1. Holding tanks(s) for the transport of aquatic organisms to the OSC for laboratory-based studies and to remote cage sites for aquaculture research. 2. A warm, dry area where divers can dress before entering and leaving sub-zero water, and for safe transport of diving equipment. 3. Transport of personnel and equipment to remote field sites and research vessels. 4. An on-site laboratory for researchers who require sample analysis on site. The vehicle will be specifically designed to meet the diverse research requirements of the OSC.