Newcastle University is leading the way in assessing the challenges and opportunities presented by marine environmental systems in the 21st Century.
On the one hand, there are a wealth of natural products unique to marine organisms that are now more readily available for both discovery and development due to rapid advances in molecular techniques. Newcastle scientists have contributed to the development of methods for bioprospecting in marine environments and have developed novel products such as abyssomicin C, the first of a new class of antibiotics discovered in a deep-sea bacterium. Marine systems offer unique environments and genetically unique organisms which are relatively unexplored compared to their terrestrial counterparts.
On the other hand, human impacts are seriously threatening the earth's biodiversity, particularly those at the climatic extremes of the poles and the tropics. Our research underpins management solutions by determining the mechanisms by which different impacts effect environmental systems, so that interventions can be appropriately targeted and resources used efficiently. In some cases, research in Newcastle has led directly to solutions, for example in treatment of ballast water and development of new ship antifouling products to prevent transfer of invasive species and pathogens, or in restoration techniques to enhance the recovery of impacted coral reefs. Our research has also played a key role in understanding and predicting future climate change, for example in understanding air-sea gas exchange or reconstructing past climates from marine sediments.
Environmental Systems relates to all research that focuses on understanding the marine systems and environment. The research topic is divided into sub topics:
Schools involved in Environmental Systems research include: