From the polar waters of the Arctic to the warm seas of the Mediterranean, Europe has almost 90,000 km of coastline.  Underneath the waves our seas are home to some of the most spectacular ecosystems on Earth. Ecosystems such as cold-water coral reefs and hydrothermal vents support a huge diversity of life that is both beautiful and alien, but also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and human activities. 

The HERMIONE project focused on investigating these and other ecosystems, including submarine canyons, seamounts, cold seeps, open slopes and deep basins. Scientists from a range of disciplines researched their natural dynamics, distribution, and how they interconnect.  The scientists also wanted to find out how these ecosystems contribute to the goods and services we rely on, and how they are affected by natural and anthropogenic change.  A major aim of HERMIONE was to use the knowledge gained during the project to contribute to EU environmental policies. This information can be used to create effective management plans that will help to protect our oceans for the future.

The HERMIONE project ran from April 2009 to September 2012, and was made up of a consortium of 41 partners - research organisations, universities and small organisations - from 13 countries across Europe. The project was supported by an €8m grant from the EC's seventh framework programme (FP7), and continued on from the highly successful HERMES project.  Whilst research within the HERMIONE project has now ended, many of our partners are continuing the research within their own organisations.  

Use the links on this page to learn more about the science we achieved, our research highlights and our publications, and for a broad overview of the project click on the links below. 


      Project summary


"The future of integrated
deep-sea research in Europe:
The HERMIONE project." Weaver, P. et al. 2009, Oceanography
Read our final project summary, containing the highlights of HERMIONE research Download the project brochure to learn more about our areas of research. Visit our image gallery to see amazing underwater environments and their inhabitants