In response to the national strategy of exploring the deep ocean, deep earth and out space, Prof. Chuanlun Zhang from Department of Ocean Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), participated in the symposium on Mariana Trench Voyages in Qingdao on July 21, which was sponsored by Ocean University of China (OUC). The one-day meeting also was joined by scientists from OUC, SUSTech, Shanghai Ocean University, Shandong University, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Process Research, Peking University, and other research institutions.
At the symposium, Prof. Zhang introduced the framework of The Institute for Geo-Omics Research (TIGOR) at SUSTech. He showed the latest progress in the trench study, emphasizing on the importance of large volume water sampling in order to investigate the community structure and potential activities of microorganisms and their synergistic effect on organic matter degradation in the hadal environment. He also introduced the focus areas of research of the Department of Ocean Science and Engineering at SUSTech. Finally, he advocated a trench consortium in order to best coordinate extensive and long-term cooperation among participating institutions in hadal research.
The first Mariana Trench voyage was executed in 2015. The chief scientist was Prof. Jiwei Tian from OUC. There have been over 120 days of field work, about 40 days of each cruise in December 2015, September 2016 and February 2017, respectively.
Assistant Professor Xinxin Li and Postdoc Penghui Li from Department of Ocean Science and Engineering also participated in this symposium, and they will join the next trench voyage with Prof. Zhang, which is planned to occur in early August, 2017.