Marine Ecology

Sonne-Expedition SO254

Research Aim

Our research aim during RV Sonne cruise SO254 was the examination of sponge communities in the southwestern Pacific – from the sunlit surface waters down to the deep sea (~ 5 km water depth).

Besides taxonomy, physiology and chemistry of sponges, especially their associated microbes were in the focus of our research.  A prerequisite for those studies was the ROV Kiel 6000, which not only delivered our samples, but also valuable meta data that in turn allow an analysis of the respective deep-sea sponge habitat. The data of this cruise will represent an important piece in the puzzle for our biogeographical comparison of deep-sea sponge microbiomes in different ocean regions worldwide.


H2020 SponGES: Deep-sea Sponge Grounds Ecosystems of the North Atlantic: an integrated approach towards their preservation and sustainable exploitation

March 2016 to February 2020


Our journey took place in the southwestern Pacific. More precise in the waters around New Zealand between 174° E und 176° W, from the subtropical province down to Sub Antarctica (29°- 52°S).


Auckland (Neuseeland) 


January 26 – February 27, 2017


Prof. Dr. Meinhard Simon,  Institut für Chemie & Biologie des Meeres , Uni Oldenburg

GEOMAR-staff on board:

FB3-MI, Kathrin Busch