Forecasting contamination risk for shellfish harvest and beach use
30 Apr

Webinar: Atlantis ecosystem model // Submarine canyons as ‘underground rivers’

Join us for our inaugural webinar. This 1 hour seminar will explore two topics: detailed ecosystem modelling from sunlight to market, and how submarine canyons act as ‘underground rivers’ to connect land and deep-sea ecosystems.

Michelle Masi (NIWA): An Atlantis Model of Tasman and Golden Bays

Atlantis ecosystem models are all encompassing – including important ecosystem processes like ocean currents and nutrient transport, as well as complex food web interactions that link the tiniest marine organisms to the top predators in the system, including humans.

We have developed and validated an Atlantis ecosystem model for Tasman and Golden Bays, which we will use to explore different management or environmental scenarios that have been outlined by stakeholders, industry and the regional council members. This research is part of the Ecosystem models project.

Michelle is a fisheries modeller at NIWA. Before joining NIWA, she was at the University of South Florida St Petersburg where she worked on the Gulf of Mexico Atlantis model, specialising in exploring fisheries scenarios.

Daniel Leduc (NIWA): Submarine canyons funnel land-derived material from the coast to the deep sea

New Zealand is surrounded by more than 270 deep submarine canyons, which vary in shape and physical characteristics. This project has uncovered surprising differences in how canyons connect coastal and deep-sea ecosystems (down to 2000 metres depth), using forensic chemistry to track the transport of organic materials derived from watersheds into two contrasting canyons: Kaikoura Canyon, one of the most productive deep-sea habitats in the world, and Hokitika Canyon, which has low productivity.

These results show that our environmental footprint goes (much!) further into the EEZ than previously thought, reaching fragile deep-sea ecosystems which are often assumed to be too remote to be affected by human activities.

Daniel is a marine biologist at NIWA, and studies the biodiversity and ecology of seabed organisms in deep-sea ecosystems of the New Zealand region.


You are welcome to set up your own hub to bring friends and colleagues together to participate – email the location to [email protected] so we can help promote it for you.


To participate via ZOOM, please register first.


NIWA Wellington, Allan boardroom – our speakers will be presenting from this hub

NIWA Hamilton, Reception meeting room

NIWA Auckland, Lake room

NIWA Nelson, Small meeting room

Cawthron Institute, Milton room

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