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MNF Subscriber eNewsletter | Dec 2023

In this edition:

  • Director’s message
  • MNF Steering Committee Communique
  • MNF Year in Review 2022-23
  • Call for expressions of interest for MNF committees
  • We’ve launched INVESTIGATE
  • Find us at AMOS
  • 100 voyages of impact!
  • Research on the radar
  • In the news

Director's message

Welcome to the latest edition of the Marine National Facility (MNF) Newsletter.

It’s been a busy time for the MNF team since our last update with several research voyages completed or commenced, and the team reaching the 100th voyage milestone for RV Investigator!

Voyage IN2023_VO6, led by the University of New South Wales, and the underway voyage, IN2023_VO7, being led by CSIRO and the Australian Antarctic Partnership Program, have both focused on gathering important oceanographic data which will not only contribute to our national scientific knowledge, but also to international research and monitoring programs. To find out more about the amazing research we deliver, I’d encourage you to read some of the recent media stories listed at the end of this newsletter.

In recent months, our MNF team has delivered several community outreach and engagement events. In October, some of our team had the opportunity to participate in the MV Blythe Star 50th Anniversary Memorial event, which was held in Hobart. We were honoured to present to stakeholders and the community about CSIRO’s role in helping confirm the Blythe Star wreck earlier this year. As you’ll read below, our team has also been in Devonport to showcase our new INVESTIGATE outreach container to locals.

In this edition, you’ll find the MNF Steering Committee Communique which details the recent areas of focus of the Committee overseeing the direction of the MNF. In the Communique, you’ll hear from departing MNF Steering Committee Chair, Dr Sue Barrell AO, who is finishing up in the role she’s held for five years. Ahead of her departure, I’d like to congratulate and thank Sue for her immense contribution to the MNF.

The other significant news was the recent announcement of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) 2023 Funding Round. Through this, the MNF has received an additional $59.3 million over the next 4 years which will support investment in new technologies, and importantly funding for RV Investigator’s mid-life refit in 2024-25. However, this is less than what's required for full year operations of the vessel, so our MNF Leadership Team is currently assessing how this might impact our future voyage schedules. We will keep you informed once we know more.

Looking towards the new year and off the back of our Primary Application Call earlier this year, in the coming months, we’ll announce our voyage schedule for the 2025-2026 period so please stay tuned for that.

With the festive period fast approaching, I want to send my best wishes to all our MNF community and partners, and thank our staff, crew and science participants for another successful year of research voyages in 2023. We look forward to working with our community and enabling more incredible research next year.

Stay safe over the festive period and I wish all those at sea successful voyages.

Toni Moate
MNF Director

MNF Steering Committee Communique

The MNF Steering Committee held two meetings in July and November 2023, with the Steering Committee gathering to discuss key strategic priorities, and upcoming areas of focus for the MNF.

Find out more by reading the Steering Committee Communique.

MNF Year in Review 2022 - 2023

The Year in Review gives a snapshot of the previous financial year and provides a summary of the performance of the MNF, as well as highlights and achievements. 

Take a look at the year that was.

Year in Review | 2022-2023

Call for expressions of interest for MNF committees

The MNF Steering Committee will soon call for Expressions of Interest from early career researchers to join the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) and the National Benefit Advisory Committee (NBAC).

This is a great opportunity for researchers to gain professional experience by working with and being mentored by members of the committee and to contribute to the assessment for sea time on RV Investigator.

Let your friends and colleagues know to sign up to the MNF Newsletter mailing list here, to receive further details.

Explore our INVESTIGATE science exhibit

INVESTIGATE is the MNF’s new roving and immersive marine science experience that invites visitors to dive a little deeper into our amazing marine environment, without getting their feet wet! 

It has been built in a repurposed shipping container, and is similar to the containerised science laboratories that are used on RV Investigator. It offers visitors a unique 3D multimedia experience, with the container’s roof and walls being equipped with video screens and a state-of-the-art sound system.

After its first stint in Hobart, it’s now stationed at the Devonport Maritime Centre in north Tasmania. It will be there until January 2024 so, if you’re in the area, check it out.

Stay tuned for where INVESTIGATE goes next. 

Find us at AMOS 2024

We’re looking forward to presenting at the upcoming Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Conference from 5-9 February, 2024, in Canberra. 

If you’re attending the conference, please come and chat to our MNF team, and make sure you catch our presentation on INVESTIGATE, our new community outreach container. We’ll also be hosting a workshop for potential ship users on how to apply for sea time, and what makes a good application.

Read more about this event.

CSIRO RV Investigator uncovering ocean secrets for 100 voyages

Watch as ABC News steps on board RV Investigator to experience the ship’s capability and explore a decade of research impact over the past 100 voyages.

Research on the radar

Welcome to our newsletter feature where we highlight recent publications from research delivered using MNF infrastructure and data.

Observed amplification of the seasonal CO2 cycle at the Southern Ocean Time Series

E.H. Shadwick, C.A. Wynn-Edwards, R.J. Matear, P. Jansen, E. Schultz, A.J. Sutton | October 2023

The Subantarctic Zone, the circumpolar region of the Southern Ocean between the Subtropical and Subantarctic fronts, plays an important role in air-sea CO2 exchange, the storage of anthropogenic CO2, and the ventilation of the lower thermocline. Here we use a time series from moored platforms deployed between 2011 and 2021 as part of the Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS) observatory to investigate the seasonality and interannual variability of upper ocean hydrography and seawater CO2 partial pressure (pCO2). 

DOI: Observed amplification of the seasonal CO2 cycle at the Southern Ocean Time Series

Glowing sea cucumbers: Bioluminescence in the Holothuroidea  

M. Bessho-Uehara, J. Mallefet, S.H.D. Haddock | November 2023

Bioluminescence, light production by a living organism, is often seen in deep-sea benthic animals, including sea cucumbers. In this chapter, we review holothuroid bioluminescence from taxonomic, behavioural, and biochemical perspectives and describe new observations with an evolutionary analysis. 

DOI:  Glowing sea cucumbers: Bioluminescence in the Holothuroidea

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In the news

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The Marine National Facility is national research infrastructure funded by the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and operated by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, on behalf of the nation.