2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
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2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Habitat severity and internal ice in Antarctic notothenioid fishes

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B-195-M Research Location(s): Sea Ice


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1644196

Program Manager:
Dr. Jennifer Burns / Dr. Christian Fritsen

ASC POC/Implementer:
Jenny Cunningham / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator(s)

Mr. Paul A Cziko
University of Oregon
Institute of Ecology and Evolution
Eugene, Oregon

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Sea Ice


Notothenioid fishes live in the world's coldest marine waters surrounding Antarctica and have evolved strategies to avoid freezing. Past studies have shown that most Antarctic notothenioids produce special antifreeze proteins that prevent the growth of ice crystals that enter the body. While these proteins help prevent individuals from being killed by growing ice crystals, it is unclear how these fish avoid the accumulation of these small ice crystals inside their tissues over time. This project will observe how ice-crystal accumulation relates to the harshness of the fish's habitat and its behavior within different habitats of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.

Field Season Overview

A group of six team members will reside on station and occasionally at small, sea-ice field camps. They will make day trips to their sites by PistenBully, snowmobile, and possibly by helicopter if sea-ice sites are not accessible by tracked vehicle. They will use a Reed drill to create up to six holes at sites near the station for diving, hand-line fishing, and deploying and retrieving fish traps with a winch. Most of their experiments will be conducted in the Crary Laboratory, but some fish will be kept in a temporary outdoor aquarium. Tasking this season will also include maintenance on the McMurdo Oceanographic Observatory (MOO) and recovery of seawater-condition data loggers. The team will also collaborate with the Catchen (B-211-M) project.

Deploying Team Members

  • Paul Cziko (PI)
  • Art DeVries (Co-PI)
  • Henry Kaiser
  • Henry Kaiser
  • Konrad Meister
  • Lisa Munger
  • Weston Turner