Marine Studies and Technologies Research Group conducts research on the loss of biodiversity in seas, the alien/invasive species monitoring, the investigation of fish deaths, excessive algae growth and formations such as mucilage due to eutrophication and resulting decrease in oxygen levels in sea water and the factors that disrupt the ecological balance, and the impacts of these factors on activities such as fishing, tourism and maritime transport. It carries out R&D studies in order to monitor sea water and sediment quality in marine areas, to determine the effects of municipal wastewater treatment plants on seas, and to propose solutions.
“Integrated Marine Pollution Monitoring Program DEN-İZ” under the coordination of Marine Studies and Technologies Research Group since 2014, adopting an ecosystem-based monitoring approach for all Turkish seas, within the framework of Turkish national legislation, international agreements and EU directives, has been carried out in collaboration with many research institutions, universities and public institutions. DEN-İZ National Monitoring Program makes it possible to determine/review national marine and coastal management policies and strategies and to monitor the effects of the measures taken.
Along with the DEN-İZ, studies are conducted in order to monitor the sea water and sediment quality in the marine/coastal areas within the provincial borders of Istanbul, Kocaeli, Bursa and Izmir Metropolitan Municipalities, to determine the effects of municipal wastewater treatment plants on the seas and to propose solutions. Projects aiming to determine the microbial diversity in Turkish seas and to obtain antimicrobial molecules from microorganisms in the marine environment have made it possible to integrate innovative molecular approaches and biotechnology into marine studies.
Also, studies are carried out to determine and make use of the potential of Turkish seas in terms of “Blue Growth”, which is of great importance in the science policies of Europe and Türkiye. In this context, we have been involved, as a project partner, in projects supported by the European Union and Cross-border collaborations since 2010.
The Research Group has also been coordinating National Strategy Projects with various Ministries since 2017. Various projects have been completed on maritime activities, Help, Search, Rescue and Emergency Response Automation System (YAKAMOS), which is a geographic information system-based decision support system for responding to marine pollution, has been developed and National Emergency Response Plans have been created.
The Marine Studies and Technologies Research Group operates with a team of 19 people consisting of 15 expert researchers and 2 expert technicians from different fields of expertise.
The research group's areas of expertise include coastal, marine and lake ecosystem studies, applied oceanography and modelling, management of maritime activities, management of coastal and marine areas, GIS, geomatics and remote sensing, legislation, policy and decision support. In addition to project work, the group researchers represent various national and international boards, committees and expert groups and take part in cooperation networks.
Marine Studies and Technologies Research Group works especially on
- Monitoring of physical, chemical and biological parameters with on-site/routine observation and measurement,
- Determination of eutrophication risk status,
- Determination of water quality surface distribution by remote sensing technologies,
- Use of bio-monitoring techniques,
- System approach applications (integration of eco-systemic, social and economic components),
- GIS-based decision support system (DSS) applications,
- Ecosystem model applications,
- Coastal zone management, identification of hot-spots and sensitive areas, and conducts R&D projects in these fields.
The Group conducts the oceanographic monitoring studies in all our seas and coastal areas by making use of the infrastructure of the R/V TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Vessel. The Group takes part in the EU EuroFleets Project on research vessel infrastructure.