project . 2021 - 2025 . On going

Future Biofouling and Anti-Biofouling Strategies

UK Research and Innovation
Funder: UK Research and InnovationProject code: 2603710
Funded under: NERC
Status: On going
19 Sep 2021 (Started) 30 Mar 2025 (Ending)

Biofouling is described as the unwanted accumulation of marine organisms on submerged structures and has serious economic and environmental consequences. For example, the presence of biofouling on the hull of a ship increases hydrodynamic drag and results in increased fuel consumption and emission of greenhouse gasses. The biofouling process is complex and dynamic, being impacted by a range of biotic and abiotic factors. One such factor is ocean temperature, which is on course to increase by 1 degree C by 2050, and 2 degrees C by the end of the century. This will result in profound changes in the global biofouling community which will almost certainly have knock on effects to the performance of anti-fouling strategies. With this in mind, this project aims to understand the effect of ocean warming on biofouling communities in temperate waters, and in turn, how this will influence our ability to control biofouling in the future. Initially, the project will focus on microbial biofilms and biofilm metabolites, before pairing this knowledge to the final macrofouling community. This will improve our ability to predict future shifts in biofouling and underpin next generation anti-biofouling strategies.

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