Patrick Rozema went first to Rothera Station and then to Columbia University to sample and analyze marine microbial communities of Antarctic Peninsula coastal waters...

First time in Europe for Lucas visiting Groningen University and the old town before continuing to the Island of Texel to work with Henk Bolhius at the NIOZ Royal Institute of Sea Research on oil degrading bacteria in polar oils... read more

Dolores Deregibus stayed 4 months in Bremerhaven to attend the final workshops and finish the papers   with friends and colleagues of the macroalgae working group

The Argentine glaciologist Hernan Sala is finalizing the joint investigation of glacial mass balance of Fourcade glacier that surrounds Potter Cove on King George Island (Isla 25 Mayo). He has worked for six years within IMCOAST and the follow up IMCONet together with a group of colleagues from German Universities and several Argentine institutions. Read more in his blog.

Tamara Manograsso from the Antarctic Institute in Buenos Aires worked 8 months at the University of Oldenburg (ICBM) and at the AWI to unravel the environmental history of Potter Peninsula.

A major objective of IMCONET is to develop predictive climate change and ecosystem models. One important parameter to set up such a model is knowledge about the matter fluxes between the different habitats of an ecosystem. Therefore, the aim of our expedition is to measure matter fluxes. To include possible climate change related changes we choose different sites within the Potter Cove which are influenced by the melting Fourcade glacier at different intensities. Read the blog of Ralf Hoffmann, Moritz Holtappels and Eliza Merz from AWI and the University of Rostock....

During her secondment to AWI in 2015 and 2016 Camila Neder from Cordoba, Argentina worked with Kerstin Jerosch, Frauke Scharf and Doris Abele learning about species distribution models (SDM). The aim was to model the distribution of benthic organism such as ascidians, sponges, sea stars, mussels; in Potter Cove. 

The polar oceans are particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification; the lowering of seawater pH due to uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Elizabeth Jones works with Anita Buma at Groningen University  and went to visit Hugh Ducklow at  Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, New York. One major aim of her IMCONet secondment was to link CO2-carbonate chemistry data from offshore-onshore transects along the West Antarctic Peninsula  to observations from the Palmer Station Antarctica Long Term Ecological Research (Palmer-LTER) cruises  in order to place the work into a wider regional and temporal context.

Following a 3-month stay in Córdoba, Argentina earlier in 2015, Dr Lars Beierlein used the IMCONet scheme for a further three month postdoctoral stay with Hugh Ducklow at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Columbia University, New York, USA) as well as with Linda Ivany at Syracuse University (Syracuse, USA). During that time he aimed to evaluate if fossil shell material (of the Eocene bivalve species Cucullaea raea) from La Meseta Formation on Seymour Island (off the NE tip of the Antarctic Peninsula) can provide valuable information on palaeo-environment and palaeo-climate.


From April to June 2015, Dr Lars Beierlein had the opportunity for a 3-month postdoctoral stay at the CICTERRA (CONICET-UNC) Institute at Córdoba, Argentina, where he worked in the sclerochronological research group of Sandra Gordillo. The main objective of this highly interdisciplinary project (combining the fields of biology, geology and climate sciences) was to assess whether modern and fossil (Holocene and Pleistocene) marine bivalve shells from Patagonia can be used as high latitude bio-archives.

As part of his PhD programme and thanks to IMCONet, Tómas Marina travelled to Germany to attend food web and programming courses at the AWI Sylt and Bremerhaven and to work together with experienced scientists from Sylt, Bremerhaven and the University Gent on the food web of Potter Cove situated in King George Island (Isla 25 de Mayo). 

The sea pen Malacobelemnon daytoni (Octocorallia, Pennatulacea, Kophobelem-nidae) is one of the most abundant species in Potter Cove but really little is known about them. Natalia Servetto from the Argentinian Institute of Diversity and Animal Ecology (IDEA/CONICET) Universidad Nacional de Córdoba studies the effect of acidification on the ecosystem of Potter Cove using the sea-pen M. daytoni (the most abundant of Potter Cove) as models. During her research stay at the AWI she performed several analyses to study the effects of different ph values.

The new cooperation project between Christoph Held and Meike A. Seefeldt (both AWI) and Esteban Barrera-Oro, Maria Eugenia Moreira (both ictiología group, DNA- IAA, CONICET) as well as their partners from the macroalgae group María Liliana Quartino, Dolores Deregibus and Gabriela Laura Campana (DNA-IAA) investigates the ecological role of scavenging amphipods (Crustacea: Lysianassoidea) and their potential response in a changing polar food web. Since not much has been known about the scavenging amphipod guild in Potter Cove one of the aims of the initial expedition 2014/2015 was to record the taxonomical diversity of lysianassoid amphipods in Potter Cove.

During his stay at the University of Bonn (ZFL) Adrián Silva Busso and Ulrike Falk studied the glacier discharge from the Warszawa Icefield, King George Island / Isla 25 de Mayo (KGI). Their analysis was based on data from two glacier creeks and the respective aquifers developed on the permafrost area. They proposed a simulation of the discharge based on a Monte Carlo method and on Fourier analysis. Meteorological data were used in the model to estimate discharge, and results were validated using hydrological field measurements in the two basins of Potter South and North creeks (PSC and PNC), where discharge can be clearly correlated with air temperatures.

After the Antarctic Summer Campaign at Carlini Station during February and March 2014, where Pablo A. Heredia Barión collected samples to do geochemical and textural analyzes and radiocarbon dating, he went in May to Bremerhaven to join the research group of Dr. Gerhard Kuhn at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). There he did not just focus on geochemical analysis at the AWI lab but also participated in several training courses, which brought him from Bremerhaven to Cambridge, to the Austrian Alps and even to Tallinn in Estonia.

Gastón Alurralde a marine biologist and PhD student of the Institute of Diversity and Animal Ecology (IDEA/CONICET) and the University of Córdoba visited the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM) in Barcelona to work together with Dr. Verónica Fuentes an expert in zooplankton ecology. His research focuses on the study of energetic interconnection between planktonic and benthic systems and the potential effects that climate change might have on these processes. He tries to find answers to the questions, how life is sustained in the coastal Antarctic system, what is/are the main food source/s for species occurring both in the water column and in the sea floor and how will climate-forced changes affect the functioning of the ecosystem.

During July 2014 Dolores Deregibus was working together with David Barnes at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Their studies focus on measuring the iceberg impacts on the seabed and the biological responses of Antarctic benthic communities. Linking regional warming, sea ice losses, iceberg scouring and biological responses in a regional scale is very difficult and challenging, which is why this visit was the starting point of a cooperation lead by David Barnes between Argentina (Instituto Antartico Argentino), Germany (Alfred Wegener Institute) and the UK (British Antarctic Survey).

This year Carla de Aranzamendi stayed from May to November working in the AWI. One of the objectives of her project is to determine whether the two morphotypes presented in the Antarctic limpet Nacella concinna are the result of adaptation to the environment by phenotypic plasticity or whether these morphological differences have a genetic basis. For this reason, in the lab of Christoph Held she isolated and characterized 8 microsatellite loci in this species using 454 pyrosequencing technique.

Antarctica is thought of as a pristine environment, and we are committed to keeping it that way. However, human activities go hand in hand with the risk of contamination. If pollutants reach the soil and water, the entire biota might be compromised.  Here is where microbes come into scene. To know a bit more about how they deal with diesel contamination in Carlini Station, Susana Vazquez spent three months working at the AWI.

This year, from the 7th July up to the 11th August, Hernán Sala performed a very productive stay in the Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) at Bonn University in close cooperation with Matthias Braun of the University Erlangen-Nürnberg. During his stay, he was able to analyze and process data, which was collected in different summer campaigns at Carlini Station, 25 de Mayo - King George Island, Antarctica together with the colleagues of WP1.

This year Christian Houghton returned to the AWI to work for two months together with Dr. Urban Tillmann, investigating growth and toxin production in two Argentine-Sea strains of the toxigenic dinoflagellate algae P. reticulatum. A great and successful training experience in a nice working environment and with an excellent paper being prepared for publication.


Antarctic Summer Expedition of the Macroalgae Group of Instituto Antártico Argentino

The Macroalgae group of Instituto Antártico Argentino participated of the last Antarctic Summer expedition. They stayed in Carlini Station for two months working on the effects of climate change on macroalgal communities, and specifically, the consequences of glacier retreat on the role of macroalgae as habitat to invertebrates. The work combined intensive underwater sampling to collect the subtidal macroalgae and their associated fauna, and exhausting work at the laboratory, where all the invertebrates were scanned.

Morphological taxonomists can be considered to be on the verge of extinction. However, Martha Ferrario and Gastón Almandoz, two morphological taxonomists from La Plata Museum (Argentina) arrived at the AWI in the frame of the cooperative project IMCONet to work with members of the Ecological Chemistry Division at AWI with the aim to study the occurrence of harmful microalgae and their toxins in Antarctic and Subantarctic waters.

Following one month at the Dallmann Laboratory/Carlini Station on King George Island/Isla 25 de Mayo, Bernd Krock continued his IMCONet exchange visiting several IMCONet partners in Argentina in order to view, organize and interpret data from previous oceanographic expeditions. A most productive 3 months with a total of seven new publications being initiated.

During 2014´s Antarctic Summer Campaign, Carlini´s Glaciology Group arrived at Carlini Station on King George Island. The main goal of this field trip is to carry out the seasonal maintenance of an Automatic Weather Station (AWS), which is set on the Fourcade Glacier, nearby Carlini Station. Another central objective is to conduct different kind of measurements related with the mass balance of the glacier. The members of the team this year are Hernán Sala (IAA, Buenos Aires, Ecologist), Damián López (ZFL Bonn, PhD in Chemistry) and Tobias Betsch (Univ. Erlangen-Nürnberg, Master Student of Physical Geography).

On Dec 23rd 2013, just one day before Christmas, four members of the AWI plankton ecology group, i.e. Bernd Krock (analytical chemist), Urban Tillmann (planktologist), Annegret Müller (technical assistant) and Manuel Sala (EMBC master student) headed for Buenos Aires in order to join the air transport organized by the Dirección Nacional del Antártico (DNA) to the Dallmann/Carlini station at Potter Cove on King George Island/Isla 25 de Mayo. The aim of our team was to explore, if flagellates, which at present are very low abundant in Antarctic waters, can be indirectly be tracked by sampling secondary compounds produced by some of these species.

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