The Bermuda Marine Mesocosm Facility (BMMF) is a robust and versatile state-of-the-art outdoor facility for experimental work and organism culturing.
The originally purpose-built mesocosm facility supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation was first used in 2018 and underwent a major upgrade with an NSF facility grant (#2129274) in 2022/2023. The BMMF provides scientists with an opportunity to conduct research in controlled aquatic environments under near-natural conditions, meaning natural sun light and seawater that is pumped from the close-by Reach. There are several experimental basins and aquaria that can be run simultaneously and are designed with the potential to manipulate a range of environmental factors, such as temperature, light, CO2 concentrations, flow rate, and nutrients. Originally constructed for thermal stress experiments, the mesocosm facility provides for a replicated and robust experimental design that is ideal for research on a variety of topics, such as eco-physiology, reproduction and spawning, biological recovery and ecosystem resilience.
The mesocosm facility has the following key components:
Component Amount and characteristics
- 12 x 500-L basins
- 4 x 1500-L basins – elongated, can be converted into flumes
- Adjustable height of bottom grates
Light intensity control
- Roof: Scaffolding holding a waterproof & light permeable (~75%) greenhouse foil
- Lids for each basin with exchangeable shading material (e.g., mosquito netting) for further light reduction
- 12 x AquaLogic DSHP-9 Heat Pumps, one for each 500-L basin
- 4 x AquaLogic HS-2 Heat Pumps, one for each 1500-L basin
- These high-capacity Heat Pumps can chill and heat and are controlled by a temperature controller with a thermometer inside each basin.
- Plywood lids for each basin (complete darkness)
CO2 supply and pH monitoring
- 4 levels of CO2 (ambient + 3 levels of CO2-enrichment); CO2 supply regulated by mass-flow controllers and directly bubbled into 3 x 200-L flow-through header tanks; flow to individual basins is adjustable
- Simultaneous and constant CO2 supply to up to 9 basins.
- Automated pH measurements in all basins via a centralized pH sensor (DURAFET III , Honeywell Process solution) and remote-controlled pumps. Control and logging software: LabView
Water supply and flow
- Continues supply of seawater from adjacent Reach
- Sediment filter
- 2 x 5,500-L header tanks for seawater storage
- Total capacity of seawater supply: 9,000 L/h
- Flow meters and gate values at each inflow to the basin
- Fresh water hose
- Up to 30 x 60-L aquaria available that can be placed inside basins
- 2 - 4 power outlets (110V) above each basin
- 20-foot shipping container converted into a lab space with cabinets, bench space, various power outlets (110V) and a freshwater sink
- For (semi-)dry work in an air-conditioned space
Utility golf cart
- For quick and easy transport of life organisms from the boat to the BMMF and for transport of equipment.
Note: This webpage will gain further updates over the next few months with more detailed information about the capabilities of the upgraded BMMF.
Assistant Scientist/Assistant Professor, School of Ocean Futures
Tel: 441-297-1880 x137