2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Spring blooms of sea-ice algae in the Western Antarctic Peninsula: Effects of warming and freshening on cell physiology and biogeochemical cycles
Dr. Jodi Nicole Young
Supporting Stations: Palmer Station
This project will identify the physiological responses of sea-ice microalgae to increasing temperatures and decreasing salinity during the spring melt of sea ice in the Western Antarctic Peninsula. In particular, the research will focus on the temperature sensitivity of photosynthesis and respiration and the cycling of nitrogen-rich compatible solutes and carbon-rich Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS). Ultimately, the team aims to understand how these adaptations enable high rates of primary production, alter cellular composition, and thus influence the biochemical cycling of carbon and nitrogen in coastal Antarctic waters during spring melt.
Field Season Overview
In this, the first of two seasons, three participants will deploy via the ARSV Laurence M. Gould to Palmer Station in October and November. They will conduct ice sampling on the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) grid using their own tools and equipment and will use one of the station’s small boats to collect brash ice and sea-ice slurry and to sample ice-algal slushes on the underside of ice floes. On station, the team will process or filter all samples and will conduct incubations in the aquarium.
Deploying Team Members