J. Craig Venter Institute
San Diego, California
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: McMurdo Sound
This project uses a novel combination of research approaches to evaluate the effects of temperature, carbon dioxide and iron on three ecologically and biogeochemically critical Southern Ocean phytoplankton functional groups: Large centric diatoms, small pennate diatoms, and Phaeocystis antarctica. Dominance shifts between these three major algal groups have very different consequences for nutrient and carbon biogeochemistry in the rapidly changing Antarctic marine environments. Researchers aim to understand how the individual and combined influences of these three variables affect Southern Ocean phytoplankton community structure, and to determine how these assemblage-level responses are linked to fundamental cellular responses at the levels of nutrient physiology and gene expression. The goal is to build a knowledge base of polar phytoplankton genomics and physiology. In year one, researchers will evaluate the influence of temperature, partial carbon dioxide (pCO2) and iron on model isolates from these three major Antarctic phytoplankton.
Field Season Overview:
A team of ten will be based on station and make day trips by helicopter to McMurdo Sound near the edge of the first year ice. They will filter water for RNA and DNA samples and collect water samples for incubation experiments in Crary lab. The incubation experiments must be initiated the same day that the water is collected. The experiment will take place outside the lab and will run for about three weeks. Additional samples will be collected during this time.
Deploying Team Members:
Andrew Allen (PI)
Deborah Bronk (Co-PI)
David Hutchins (Co-PI)