Marine biofouling is very costly to commercial shipping, causing increased fuel consumption and more expensive maintenance. With ninety-five per cent of the world’s commercial shipping still relying on chemical, environmentally hazardous countermeasures, the environment is the greatest loser.

The conference New Perspectives in Marine Anti-Fouling Research, arranged at the University of Gothenburg, brings the dominant international paint manufacturers and representatives of the shipping industry together with some of the world’s leading anti-fouling researchers:

• Hans Elwing, Professor of Interface Biophysics at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and Head of the Surface Biotechnology Laboratory, has been conducting research on the interface between artificial surfaces and live tissue for many years. At the conference he will describe the discovery of the PSI effect, a new principle for the development of low-emission anti-fouling paints.

• Geoffrey Swain, a leading international anti-fouling researcher who works closely with the US Navy. Often involved as an assessor for international research programmes.

• Anthony Brennan, University of Florida, runs a programme in which the attachment of marine bacteria has been successfully inhibited in experiments with various patterned surfaces.

• James A. Callow, University of Birmingham, is leading an EU-funded research project based on the microscopic properties of the ship’s hull, in which carbon nanorods are applied to prevent biofouling.

• Martin Sjögren, a researcher at Uppsala University, will present his findings on the substance barrettin, which is extracted from the marine sponge Geodia barrette.

• Per Jonsson, a researcher at the Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg, is developing a system in which harmless proteins create oxygen deficiency at the attachment surface

• Sergey Dobretsov, of Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, is conducting research on the possibility of artificially disrupting the gene regulatory mechanisms (quorum sensing) that underlie the formation of a biofilm on the hull surface.

Journalists are welcome to follow the conference and/or interview contributing researchers.
The attached photograph is freely available for publication. Photograph caption: Test surface treated by the PSI (post-settlement inhibition) technique compared with an untreated control surface. Photograph: University of Gothenburg.

Time: 19-20 November 2009
Place: Novotel, Klippan, Gothenburg
Programme: presentations from 09.30

Hans Elwing, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg,
+46 (0)733 604607