Science in Andvord Bay!

Another very busy day of science as our first full day here in Andvord Bay.

As usual we started out with a 9 am water collection. Sonya and Harriet are looking at the different genes that phytoplankton are activating. Phytoplankton activate different genes at different times of day, for example in the daytime they might activate genes for collecting light, while in the darker night they might activate more genes for making molecules they need. Harriet and Sonya want to compare the activation of genes by phytoplankton in different bays and areas in Antarctica, so they need to collect their phytoplankton at the same time everyday so they can see the differences between places, without getting mixed up by the differences from different times of day.

Francoise also likes to collect water at the same time everyday because she is running experiments which run for exactly 24 hours. Francoise is looking at how much of the phytoplankton is eaten by some of the very smallest animals, the microzooplankton. To measure this she puts microzooplankton and phytoplankton in different concentrations in bottles, and measures how many phytoplankton there are at the beginning, and then again how many phytoplankton are left 24 hours later.

Sometimes a water collection at exactly 9 am is inconvenient for the rest of us, but we do our best to plan the other instruments around it.

Categories: Musings of an Oceanographer | Leave a comment

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