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TREC

Traversing European Coastlines

An expedition to study coastal ecosystems and their response to the environment, from molecules to communities

The Expedition

The TREC expedition started in April 2023 and is expected to last until end of July 2024. During that time, the researchers will be gathering biological samples and environmental data along the European coastline at more than 120 land-sea transects. In selected sites, time-series measurements will be performed to account for annual changes.

The expedition combines ocean exploration, conducted by the Tara Ocean Foundation and Tara Oceans Consortium, with parallel sampling of soil, sediment, shallow water, and selected model organisms in various habitats, supported by EMBL’s land-based mobile services and local marine research institutions. Organismal diversity is being studied across scales, from viruses, bacteria, and protists to multicellular groups such as algae and animals. Analysis involves various meta- and single-cell omics as well as barcoding techniques that will be combined with innovative microscopy pipelines including automated imaging and electron microscopy. This allows unprecedented detail in associating molecular and morphological data at the single-organism and single-cell level. Besides standard oceanographic metadata, special emphasis is put on detecting metabolites as well as physical and chemical (i.e. inorganic and organic pollutants such as metals, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics) characterisation of the sampled habitats, providing the environmental framework to the biodiversity and adaptation analyses.

Overall, the expedition aims to conduct systematic, standardised, and integrated sampling with multimodal environmental metadata acquisition. This integrated profiling across environmental and man-made gradients of micro- and macroscopic life will enable us to obtain a first of the kind, pan-European census of European coastal ecosystems.

Sampling coordinators

  • Soil – Leho Tedersoo (professor at Tartu University), and Samuel Abiven (science director at CEREEP and research professor at ENS, CNRS)
  • Sediment – Raffaele Siano (researcher at Ifremer)
  • Sea – Colomban de Vargas (research director at CNRS)
  • Shallow water – Flora Vincent (group leader at EMBL), and Hugo Berthelot (researcher at Ifremer)
  • Model organisms – Detlev Arendt (group leader at EMBL)
  • Chemical profiling – Michael Zimmermann (group leader at EMBL)

TREC stops in 2023

To perform sampling as shown on the map above, in 2023 TREC worked closely with several institutions along the way. Click to open an interactive map showing the national stops and TREC activities there.

Contact

TREC@embl.org

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Paola Bertucci

Head of EMBL Scientific Expeditions

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Valerie Maier

Field Operations Coordinator

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Cristian Tambley

Expedition Logistics Manager

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Marta Major

Sampling Permits Project Officer

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Josipa Bilic Zimmermann

Planetary Biology Program Manager

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Stefanie Kandels

Head of EMBL HD Director´s Office

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Expedition Team

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Severin Luca Belle

Expedition Field Scientist

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Cyril Cros

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Tina Enders

Postdoctoral Fellow

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image of Anastasiia Grekova

Anastasiia Grekova

Predoctoral Fellow

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Thomas Haize

Expedition Field Technician

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Kerstin Leberecht

Data Manager for ecosystem sampling exp.

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Anna Mankowski

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Christian Marchese

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Elisa Merz

Expedition Field Scientist

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Adam Oel

Expedition Field Scientist Animal Models

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Leslie Pan

Field Operations Coordinator

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Jonas Richter

Predoctoral Fellow

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Antonella Ruggiero

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Kiley Seitz

Soil Microbiologist

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Lucas Ustick

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Joanna Barbara Zukowska

Scientific Officer/ Interim CBB Unit Lab Manager

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