My role in EPOCA arctic
I am in the final year of my PhD in the group of Prof. Ulf Riebesell and accompany the development of the off-shore mesocosms since the beginning in 2005. At the EPOCA arctic campaign 2010 I am in charge of the mesocosm logistics. This includes the coordination of the transport, the final assembling, the deployment, the diving and the search for solutions for all the problems we will have to face during the experiment. It is a big challenge but also great fun to deal with 9 almost 2 tonne heavy and 8 m high mesocosms to guarantee a successful experiment for many international scientists. During the experiment I will be also part of the diving team which is necessary to close the bottom plates of the mesocosm bags and to conduct underwater repairs (I really hope that this won’t be necessary) as well as driving zodiacs (small boats) for the daily sampling.
My thoughts on the trip
The past experiment showed us, that the mesocosm campaign in Ny Alesund will be an exceptional physical and mental challenge to all participants. The daily sampling of many hours on the zodiacs, the diving in cold waters and the icebergs from the nearby glaciers, which could damage our mesocoms will demand a great team spirit from all of us. And that is the reason why I really look forward to this experiment.
More about my research
During my PhD at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Kiel (Germany) I am investigating the response of coccolithophores (calcium carbonate producing, single cell phytoplankton) communities on the impact of ocean acidification. Since there are no coccolithophores in arctic waters, my colleges and myself will give our very best to guarantee a safe and successful experiment. The past mesocosm experiments in the Baltic Sea showed that this size of an experimental setup needs people who are only there to solve all the problems that we will have to face.