Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund Grants

Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund


Grant amount: US $50,000 - US $100,000

Anticipated deadline: Jun 23, 2018

Applicant type: Organizations Individuals

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Antarctica

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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Overview:

The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund supports funding to Antarctic research based upon our scientific research plan.

The plan has been developed by the AWR's Science Advisory Group, represented by scientists connected to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

The Principal aims of the Scientific Research Plan are to:

    1. Contribute to CCAMLR's work on the development of a feedback management system for the commercial fishery for Antarctic krill.
    2. Design and implement a series of candidate scientific reference areas to monitor natural variability and long term change.
    3. Design field and analytical methods for providing early warning signals about future ecological change.
    4. Observe and evaluate signals of ecological change with a view to determining, to the extent possible, the causes of change, whether natural or anthropogenically induced.

      Research proposals submitted to this fund should focus on one or more of the research areas listed below, but they must clearly identify how the proposal will contribute towards the main objective of the AWR program and how the proposal will increase existing capacities for management.

      • Field-based krill fishery studies
      • Field-based krill ecology studies
      • Field-based predator studies
      • Desk-based modeling studies
      • Desk-based management studies

      You can find more details about the above listed research areas here.

      You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

      Eligibility:

      • Your research must fall under one of the research areas listed above.
      • Each grant should be for a specific piece of work.
      • Applicants should propose clear start and end dates and specific dates by which outputs and products from the research will be produced.
      • It is envisioned that any research and monitoring work supported by the AWR will build, incrementally, towards a new management approach for the krill fishery. Funded work should therefore support, rather than replace, the work of CCAMLR.

      Preferences:

      • The AWR wishes to fund work that will increase understanding about how the Antarctic marine ecosystem operates and how it might be characterized by a set of indicators for use by managers. Such work might involve desk or field studies to fill critical knowledge gaps or provide early warning signals about future ecological change. 
      • In developing research proposals for consideration by the AWR, it is hoped that projects will be collaborative in nature, including between scientists from different CCAMLR Members and/or between scientists and krill fishing companies.
      • Critical knowledge gaps that might be preferred in this call for project proposals could include:
        • Based on small-scale studies, krill biomass is known to fluctuate, but it is thought to have remained stable without any apparent large-scale trend since the mid-1990s. However, largely due to the logistic complexity and associated costs, no large-scale field surveys for krill have been undertaken in areas used by the fishery since 2000. Therefore, enhancing understanding within CCAMLR about how newly available acoustic data collected from fishing vessels, autonomous remotely operated underwater vehicles or from fixed mooring buoys might be used to provide information about intra- and inter-annual changes in krill distribution and abundance, particularly in those areas preferred by the fishery, is important. Studies showing how these new acoustic datasets might be used by CCAMLR, is a key issue for management.
        • Related to this, enhanced understanding within CCAMLR about the meso- and large-scale movement of krill in oceanographic currents is of critical importance for the implementation of CCAMLR’s feedback management strategy. Movement of krill across a variety of scales is thought to be one of the major factors maintaining the operation of the Antarctic marine ecosystem and foodweb connections across a range of space and time scales and across a variety of trophic levels. However, information on the movement of krill is limited. Projects modelling the movement of krill should seek to inform the development of feedback management approaches, highlighting connectivity between spatial and temporal scales of relevance to predators and the fishery.
        • Within Area 48, the Bransfield Strait is a key area for krill harvesting. Indeed, Subarea 48.1 has been closed in the last three years because catches have reached the spatial sub-allocation of the catch trigger level. The Bransfield Strait is also a site where there are high levels of overlap between krill-dependent predators and the fishery, especially during autumn, but with increasing overlap earlier in the penguin breeding period. Therefore, studies exploring the temporal change in krill abundance before, during and after harvesting in the Bransfield Strait would help management.
        • Enhanced understanding within CCAMLR about the relationship between krill availability and predator performance is important, especially as it is likely to be a key element in any feedback management approach. Although relationships between krill and certain predators have been studied at some locations, relationships between predator foraging and breeding performance, krill availability and fishery activities, remain poorly resolved. Diet variability, together with other breeding and/or foraging performance parameters, may also be of importance as some predators have different diets in different geographic locations or during different times of the year. Consequently, these and other factors can lead to complex relationships between krill availability and predator performance. Projects exploring these relationships should seek to inform the development of feedback management approaches.
        • Other projects, including analyses of historical information from the krill fishery, may be considered where they match closely with the aims of the AWR. Such projects should seek to inform the development of feedback management approaches.