MARINE SCIENCE TO HELP SAVE THE OCEAN

  • Coral Reefs
    The Heat is on for the Survival of BIOT’s Coral Reefs
    ZSL scientists have shown the devastating effects of back-to-back heatwaves in BIOT. Coral cover was reduced by 60% in 2016 and by a further 30% in 2017. Nonetheless, this also indicates that some coral species have a higher resilience to rising temperatures thus offering some hope for the future.
  • Improving MPA Management
    How can Innovative Technology Protect Wildlife from Extinction?
    With only one British vessel patrolling more than 640,000 kmĀ², the conservation of a marine protected area (MPA) of this size is a challenge. Melissa Schiele, a marine ecologist from Loughborough University, has trialled new fixed-wing UAV drone technology to monitor the BIOT MPA.
  • Improving MPA Management
    UN: Overfishing and Climate Change are Main Threats to Marine Biodiversity
    Human activities have significantly altered the marine environment by two-thirds, and climate change has made the situation worse. A recent UN report paints a devastating picture of the world's flora and fauna in terrestrial and marine environments.
What we do
Our research programme is advancing our understanding of Marine Protected Areas - so they can be better managed to provide the maximum amount of protection. Our highly collaborative and interdisciplinary projects are led by some of the world's leading marine scientists who are pushing the boundaries of their fields.

A healthy ocean is
vital to sustaining all
life on Earth – not just
the animals and plants
that live below the waves

70%
of the Earth is ocean
91%
of species in the ocean are yet to be discovered
70%
of the oxygen we breathe in made in the ocean
OUR RESEARCH
The British Indian Ocean Territory is a unique place to undertake scientific research. This large Marine Protected Area is located in the middle of one of the Earth's most exploited oceans. It is an incredible opportunity to create an ocean observatory - a place where scientists can investigate complex marine ecosystems.
Coral Reef Resilience
Despite containing some of the healthiest coral reefs in the Indian Ocean, the impact of climate change has still been acutely felt in BIOT.
Sentinel Species Research
Our work is building a detailed picture of how important and mobile species such as turtles, seabirds, sharks and rays use the Marine Protected Area
Improving MPA Management
Scientific research carried out in BIOT is being used to inform the management of the Marine Protected Area and support the UK's international commitments such as Sustainable Development Goal 14.
RESEARCH PROJECTS
  • Coral Reef Resilience
    Coral Reef Fish in the British Indian Ocean Territory
  • Improving MPA Management
    Social Drivers for Shark Fishing Amongst Sri Lankan and Indian Fishers
  • Sentinel Species Research
    The Ecology of Sea Turtles in the British Indian Ocean Territory
  • Sentinel Species Research
    The Ecology and Ecosystem Roles of Reef Sharks in the BIOT MPA
Scientists
More than 60 scientists from 22 institutions and six countries are working together to uncover the ocean's hidden secrets - and find new ways to protect it