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DISCOVRE - Diversity, Systematics and Connectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems Project:

The U.S. Geological Survey’s DISCOVRE project brings together a multi-disciplinary team to study the biology, ecology, and connectivity of deep-sea coral environments with the goal of providing the science necessary for their effective conservation and management.


Image courtesy of Deepwater Canyons 2012 Expedition, NOAA-OER/BOEM

This 5-year multidisciplinary research program will investigate hard bottom habitats, shipwrecks, and submarine canyons on the continental margin of the eastern United States off Virginia and Maryland. Investigators will examine the biological, chemical and physical oceanography in these areas to help understand the community structure, connectivity and trophodynamics of deep-sea ecosystems in submarine canyons.

Research THEMES

By design, the USGS DISCOVRE project is integrated with larger regional efforts involving the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and academic institutions.

Media Inquiries: Amanda Demopoulos, (352) 264-3490,

News & Events

Amanda Demopoulos (SESC) will participate on a research cruise August 21-27 as part of the USGS DISCOVRE Mid-Atlantic Canyons project aboard the NOAA ship Nancy Foster. She will join colleagues from the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), and Continental Shelf Associates (CSA) to recover the deep-sea landers and moorings that have been collecting oceanographic and particulate flux data in the canyons since August 2012. (POC: Amanda Demopoulos,

  • Prouty, N. G., E. B. Roark, A. E. Koenig, A. W. J. Demopoulos, F. C. Batista, B. D. Kocar, D. Selby, M. D. McCarthy, and F. Mienis (2014), Deep-sea coral record of human impact on watershed quality in the Mississippi River Basin, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 28, doi:10.1002/2013GB004754. [Journal Article]

  • Exploring Undersea Terrain Off the Northern U.S. Atlantic Coast Via Telepresence-Enabled Research Cruise. [Sound Waves Article]

  • Cultured fungal associates from the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa. [Journal Abstract]

  • Megafaunal-habitat associations at a deep-sea coral mound off North Carolina, USA.

  • Impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a deep-water coral community in the Gulf of Mexico. [Journal Abstact]

  • all publications

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