2017-2018 Science Planning Summaries
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2017-2018 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Antarctic microbial networks and DMSP: Linking diversity, biogeochemistry, and functional gene expression

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Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Christian Fritsen

ASC POC/Implementer:
Rachel Shackelford / Jamee Johnson

Principal Investigator

Dr. Peter Dylan Countway

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
East Boothbay, Maine


Supporting Stations: Palmer Station
Research Locations: Palmer LTER stations B and E


The objective of this project is to link the molecular microbial ecology of the Western Antarctic Peninsula and/or Ross Sea to the regionally-relevant (and crucial) biogenic dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) cycle that may influence the biological structure and function of this sensitive marine ecosystem.

Field Season Overview

Researchers will deploy to Palmer Station to conduct incubation experiments using water collected from Stations B and E. They will use Zodiacs and rigid-hulled inflatable boats to access their research areas and will use the Seabird ECO rosette to collect water samples. The team will perform on-station incubations in their own Ecostat incubator. Lab-based activities will include water filtration for various types of samples, sample processing for measurement on gas chromatograph equipment, chlorophyll and bacterial productivity measurements, and preservation of samples for flow-cytometry and microscopy. At the end of the season, samples will be shipped to the home institution for further analyses.

Deploying Team Members

  • Peter Countway (PI)
  • Patricia Matrai (Co-PI)
  • Patricia Matrai (Co-PI)
  • Carlton Rauschenberg
  • Karen Young