Variability in seasonal Antarctic pteropod population: implication in an Acidified Ocean

Institution: British Antarctic Survey

Lead Supervisor: Dr Clara Manno

Project Description

The project will focus on the investigation of Antarctic pteropods (marine calcifying zooplankton) which are considered the “canary in the cold mine” of the Ocean Acidification impact on marine ecosystem. The student will assess the pteropod abundance and annual trend as well as signal the shell dissolution and malformation. He/She will work on samples collected by sediment traps (previously deployed on a mooring platform for a year) in the Southern Ocean. Pteropods dataset generated from the lab activity will be correlated with archived hydrological and chemistry parameters of the water column.

The student will interact with the Marine Ecosystem team and actively participate to informal science meeting, team meeting and seminars. The student will get advice from PhD students working on similar topic (i.e. Zooplankton and Ocean Acidification) as well as will get to see research from the different areas of BAS.

The supervisor will have weekly formal meeting with the student to follow the progress and to address the next step. Moreover the supervisor will monitoring all the lab activity.
All the lab equipment and consumable will be provided by the supporting institution. The student will share a rooms with other BAS students.

During the stay at BAS the student will get a lab induction and crash course. He/She will learn several lab technique in the field of marine science.

The student will generate is own dataset. He/she will present a talk to the team meeting on the achieved results at the end of the placement period. Any publications/proposals that directly result from the students work will be credited appropriately.

Indicative timescale for project (subject to change)

The student will undertake the following tasks:
1. Familiarise with lab facility, meet the marine ecosystem team and attempt lab induction crash course (1 week)
2. Pick up, identify and size pteropods from the sediment trap samples using a light microscope (2 weeks)
3. Explore shell dissolution and malformation using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) (2 weeks)
4. Investigate Organic and Inorganic pteropod Carbon content using a microbalance (1 week)
5. Generate-elaborate the datasets and prepare the presentation (talk) of the results (2 weeks)

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