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BAUPRE, 2020 winner
A one-year project into the measurement and effects of toxic substances on deep-sea ecosystems
The winner of the 9th annual ITOPF R&D Award is BAUPRE (Biological Assessment Under Hydrostatic Pressure), a project led by Orphy (a research unit in physiology from the University of Western Brittany, France), in partnership with Cedre and TOTAL SA.
This project is designed to improve the methodology used by laboratories to simulate the effect of hydrostatic pressure. Specifically, the project will investigate how pressure influences microbial activity and toxicity of oil and chemicals on deep-sea ecosystems. The researchers will use the scenario of a deep-sea leakage of fuel oil to measure the rate of biodegradation of the fuel oil at different pressures by simulating depths of up to 1500m. In addition, the researchers will measure the toxic effect of pressure on bacterial strains using reference toxins. The outcome of this research should provide data on the effect of hydrostatic pressure on the survivability, growth, and activity of bacteria responsible for biodegradation of pollutants at depth e.g. from sunken vessels or blow-outs.