On Monday, 14 June 2021, EMBRC officially launched its new flagship project, the European Marine Omics Biodiversity Observation Network (EMO BON). Yesterday, on 21 June 2021, select EMO BON participants began conducting their first-ever sampling, taking samples from the water column and soft substrates. To mark the event, our Science Officer, Ioulia Santi, published a LinkedIn article. Highlights from the post are included below.
EMO BON’s primary aim is to ensure steady, continuous generation of ‘baseline’ data on biodiversity at EMBRC sites following FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data principles. EMO BON will ultimately provide Europe with a means to better monitor and understand its marine biodiversity, filling current gaps in European biological observation data and complementing existing global initiatives.
EMO BON includes 16 coastal observatory stations around Europe and will frequently sample different habitats for marine biodiversity. Plankton microorganisms, sediment microorganisms, meio- and macrobenthos are among the communities to be analysed by applying metagenomics and DNA metabarcoding. The sampling conducted through EMO BON will complement the significant observation efforts already being carried out at EMBRC sites.