I will have two parts in the pelagic campaign, first I will care for the pteropods in our mesocosm setup, since this is the issue of my PhD thesis and second I will support the logistics of the mesocosm as a diver and helping hand.
After some of us arrive in NyAlesund at the 26th of May me and some others in the team (Sebastian, Jan, Matthias and the engineers Detlef, Uwe and Klaus) will start to prepare the mesocosms, bring out some moorings and fix the mesocosm to the moorings. This probably will take quite a while (around 10 day’s maybe). I will be assisting in placing the mesocosm into the fjord and I am part of the dive team responsible for closing off the bottom of the bags. See the Mesocosm page for more information.
Once the meoscosms are set up this will be the moment when it comes to my second part, because then I have to hurry to collect some thousand pteropods one by one to put them also in the mesocosm. During the course of the experiment I will try to re-catch some of the pteropods from the mesocosm and measure their length, weight, growth rate and some other things in the laboratory.
My thoughts about the trip
I have mixed feelings about this trip; on the one hand I am really looking forward to get back to this really beautiful place and to the pteropods to find out about some more secrets of their life. But on the other hand I know from my last experiment that it is really exhausting to work there, because you want to use every second you have. And this is when you are on your own; I don’t know how it will be with 35 other people including all the Professors! But I’m not too worried, because it will be great fun. And since we will be diving extensively I wonder how it looks underwater and if we might meet some seals, whales or walruses…
More about my research
I am in the first year of a PhD in biogeochemical oceanography at Leibniz-Institute for Marine Science in Kiel, Germany. I am interested in the effects of ocean acidification on calcifying organisms and their feedback to the global carbon cycling. So it is probably both on the one side I am interested in the individual well-being of the organisms and the following consequences for themselves and their ecosystem, and on the other side I have a more chemical approach where they are considered as a part of the global carbon cycle.