Inauguration of Center for Hadal Research (HADAL)

18. November 2020

Friday, November 13, 2020, was the day of the official virtual opening of the Center of Excellence HADAL, led by Professor Ronnie N. Glud from the University of Southern Denmark. The center will explore the life and the biogeochemical cycle in the hadal trenches to get a better understanding of life in the hadal realm.  

Professor Ronnie Glud and research colleagues at a research instrument. Photo: SDU
Professor Ronnie Glud and research colleagues at a research instrument. Photo: SDU

On Friday, November 13, 2020, the University of Southern Denmark formed the setting for the official virtual opening of the Center for Hadal Research (HADAL). The official inauguration of the center was held on Zoom because of Covid-19. The new Center of Excellence will explore the hadal realm to get a better understanding of life and the biogeochemical cycle in the hadal trenches that are found at a depth of 6 to 11 kilometers in the ocean.

The guests were welcomed by Professor Ronnie N. Glud, head of center at HADAL. This welcome was followed by the first speaker of the day, Professor and Vice Chair Minik Rosing from the Danish National Research Foundation:

”I am really happy to take part in this operation of the HADAL center. It is a great pleasure for me to represent the Danish National Research Foundation, and to welcome the new center into the groups of centers we represent,” said Rosing.

Afterward, Vice Chancellor Henrik Dam, from the University of Southern Denmark, offered his best wishes to HADAL and noted the importance of HADAL’s research:

“Their work will enable us to build our knowledge about the state of the hadal trenches, and what this tells us about life here on earth. I’m proud that HADAL is now part of the SDU, and that we can continue to expand our procession of leadership in the field of marine biology and deep-sea research, and I look forward to following the work of HADAL in the years to come,” said Dam.

A better understanding of life in the hadal realm

Finally, Glud once again took his place on  Zoom. He started out by expressing how grateful and happy he was about being able to research the deep sea, which still has so many large areas that have yet to be explored. He then made the overall aim clear:

“The overall aim of HADAL is to define the biogeochemical and the biological function and diversity of hadal trenches, and to add these unique environments to current understanding of the global ocean,” said Glud.

He then went on to share the center’s research areas. Among other things, the center will explore the sources and pathways for material supply to hadal trenches and hydrostatic pressure and life processes. Researchers will also unravel how life in the deep sea decomposes organic matter and cycles elements and nutrients in hadal. All of the center’s research areas have been given specific questions that they will try to answer in the future, so that they will end up with a better understanding of life in the hadal realm.

Read more about the Center for Hadal Research (HADAL) here