HERMES - an international, multidisciplinary research programme investigating Europe's deep marine ecosystems and their environment

Funded by the European Commission, HERMES brought together expertise in biodiversity, geology, sedimentology, physical oceanography, microbiology and biogeochemistry so to better understand the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

HERMES study sites extend from the Arctic to the Black Sea and include biodiversity hotspots such as cold seeps, cold-water coral mounds and reefs, canyons and anoxic environments, and communities found on open slopes. These important systems were chosen as a focus for research due to their possible biological fragility, unique genetic resources, global relevance to carbon cycling and susceptibility to global change and human impact.

HERMES started work in April 2005, and ran for 4 years, with completion in March 2009. The HERMES consortium comprised scientific teams from 50 research organisations, universities and small businesses from around Europe and neighbouring countries. Supported by €15.5M from the European Commission's Framework Six Programme, HERMES represented the start of a new era in interdisciplinary marine science. To find out more about the results of the project, please use the links on the left. HERMES was succeeded by HERMIONE - Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Man's Ipact on European Seas. To find out more about this new and exciting project, please visit the HERMIONE website -

What's new?

Explore HERMES science on Google Earth!
Download this .kml file to explore our research using Google Earth. Find out more here...

Find us on YouTube!
Click on the icon to the left or search for 'HERMESproject' on the YouTube channels

Check out our image galleries
Submarine canyons, cold seeps, microbial systems and (coming soon) cold-water corals

Browse our publications
HERMES has already produced over 100 papers in scientific journals - click here to view the list

© HERMES 2009