A EU-Funded programme investigating Europe's deep marine ecosystems and their environment.
HERMES is an international, multidisciplinary research programme investigating Europe's deep marine ecosystems and their environment. Funded by the European Commission, HERMES brought together expertise in biodiversity, geology, sedimentology, physical oceanography, microbiology and biogeochemistry so to better understand the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
HERMES study sites extend from the Arctic to the Black Sea and include biodiversity hotspots such as cold seeps, cold-water coral mounds and reefs, canyons and anoxic environments, and communities found on open slopes. These important systems were chosen as a focus for research due to their possible biological fragility, unique genetic resources, global relevance to carbon cycling and susceptibility to global change and human impact.
HERMES started work in April 2005, and ran for 4 years, with completion in March 2009. The HERMES consortium comprised scientific teams from 50 research organisations, universities and small businesses from around Europe and neighbouring countries. Supported by 15.5M from the European Commission's Framework Six Programme, HERMES represented the start of a new era in interdisciplinary marine science.