Ulf Riebesell

My role in EPOCA Arctic

In EPOCA’s 2010 Arctic campaign 35 scientists from 12 institutions will jointly work together in a mesocosm CO2 enrichment experiment. This is a great opportunity to start understanding the impacts of ocean acidification on an Arctic plankton community and its possible consequences for marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycling. It is also a great challenge, scientifically, technically and logistically. It requires cooperation, teamwork, and the dedication of everyone involved. I see my role in the coordination of this campaign. I will try to ensure that all aspects of this campaign run smoothly, that all scientists get the best possible conditions to conduct their research, are informed daily about the progress of the experiment and are involved in critical decisions which need to be taken on the way.

My thoughts on the trip

I am extremely excited about the opportunity of working together with all my EPOCA colleagues in this Arctic experiment. Being able to do our science surrounded by the magnificent scenery on Svalbard has something magical to me. We have worked hard for the past two years to prepare for this and I am eager to see it all come together. But I am also terribly scared about unforeseen problems which could bring the experiment to an early stop. No matter what, this will be a once in a life-time experience for me.

More about my research

Since I started as a student in marine biology I am deeply interested in the role of the marine biota as a driver in biogeochemical cycling. Marine microbes provide the foundation of the marine food web, they determine the distribution of many elements in the sea and they influence the exchange of climate relevant gases between the ocean and the atmosphere. Much of the CO2 stored in the ocean and deep sea sediments is their doing. A key question in my research over the past decade has been how marine microbes and the many processes they are involved in are influenced and modified by global change.

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