Project Details


The vision of AtlantOS is to improve and innovate Atlantic observing by using the Framework of Ocean Observing to obtain an international, more sustainable, more efficient, more integrated, and fit-for-purpose system. Hence, the AtlantOS initiative will have a long-lasting and sustainable contribution to the societal, economic and scientific benefit arising from this integrated approach. This will be achieved by improving the value for money, extent, completeness, quality and ease of access to Atlantic Ocean data required by industries, product supplying agencies, scientist and citizens.

The overarching target of the AtlantOS initiative is to deliver an advanced framework for the development of an integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System that goes beyond the state-of –the-art, and leaves a legacy of sustainability after the life of the project.

The specific task of DTU Aqua is to conduct analysis of environmental DNA (e-DNA) using an Environmental Sample Processor (ESP). All living organisms secrete DNA to the surrounding environment. Recently it has been shown that such “e-DNA” can be extracted from seawater and used to identify the organisms present within a designated sea area. The “ESP” is a moored automated DNA laboratory, which can be deployed for up to three months for in-situ analysis and at the same time send back real-time analytical results. Hitherto it has been used for identification of marine bacteria, phyto- and zooplankton with very good results. We will modify the ESP to allow its use for e-DNA analysis. The aim is to conduct unprecedented “proof of concept” of e-DNA sensors for monitoring of important species in a number of sea areas and time periods.

DTU Aqua, National Institute of Aquatic Resources (coordinator)
Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany
Natural Environment Research Council, UK
Marine Institute, Ireland
National Center for Scientific Research, France
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, Denmark
Institute of Marine Research, Norway
The Scottish Association for Marine Science, UK
54 additional partners across Europe

The project is funded by EU, Horizon 2020.

Research area: Population Genetics
Effective start/end date01/04/201531/03/2019

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • National Center for Scientific Research (Project partner)
  • Scottish Association for Marine Science (Project partner)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (Project partner)
  • Institute of Marine Research (Project partner)
  • Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Project partner)
  • Marine Institute (Project partner)
  • International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (Project partner)


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