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MarInfo: Integrated Platform for Marine Data Acquisition and Analysis

MarInfo is a project where CIBIO/InBio (ICETA), CIIMAR, SYSTEC and LSTS (FEUP) collaborate to implement an Integrated Platform for Marine Data Acquisition and Analysis, aiming to collect, mobilize, store, synthesize, and ultimately provide both physical and biological data gathered from the marine environment.
MarInfo takes an interdisciplinary approach involving a technological push, driven by experts in engineering and automation, and an application pull, driven by oceanographers and marine biologists. It comprises two distinct, complementary research lines. The first focuses on the development of technology to ease the acquisition of data in the marine environment. Its main objective is to integrate observation and communication technologies to assess specific information such as physical/environmental data or species diversity and behavior, considering the particular regional Atlantic Ocean conditions and dynamics. Autonomous vehicles will be used to overcome limitations to the sustained (systematic) collection of data in the vast and harsh marine environment, and cheap miniaturized loggers will be developed and deployed, at fixed sites or attached to large marine animals, to obtain information on several physical parameters of interest.
The second line focusses on the integration of large volumes of already available data and of newly acquired physical, chemical and biological information into a cohesive framework. Oceanographic data from multiple sources (fixed stations, autonomous vehicles, large predators, benthic sensors) shall be coupled with remote sensing data and fed into regional oceanographic models, allowing forecasts of climate­induced environmental changes and assessment of regional dynamics. New bioinformatic tools will be designed and implemented to generate biological diversity datasets (using metabarcoding/NGS technology) and energetics and tropho­dynamics datasets, to integrate knowledge at the ecosystems level.
The data acquired and derived information will allow a deeper understanding of the mechanisms coupling oceanographic and biogeochemical processes, unraveling interactions between them and, therefore, supporting decisions towards a sustained use of the marine resources.

Funding