Collaborative Research

Ahoy from the North Pacific!
by -- January 31st, 2013

This is Yajuan posting again from the Kilo.  After the storm today was a beautiful day and it was Pirate Day!  Researchers dressed like pirates and cocked CTD rosette bottles with their hooks and swords (recycled from cardboard and pipette tips)!

Pirates climbing our CTD

Back to science, I want to show you an essential part of our experiments at sea – the incubators.  There are several types of incubators on board.  The three big blue temperature-shift incubators are set to three different temperatures (control, warm and cold) to test the effects of temperature on phytoplankton.  They are blue because that’s the color of light phytoplankton ‘see’ in the deep ocean.  A small transparent incubator is set up to study how peroxide generated by UV light causes damage to phytoplankton.  It’s made of special UV-transparent material.

Temperature-shift incubators for studying climate change effects on phytoplankton


UV-transparent incubator

The coolest ones are Maria’s primary production incubators.  They are covered with different shades of blue to simulate light environment at different depth in the ocean and we use them to study the photosynthesis of phytoplankton sampled from 0-200m.

PP incubator with 10 shades of blue simulating light environment at different depth of the ocean

In the afternoon, Dr. Steven Wilhelm gave us a special lecture entitled ‘Pirates: Bending the Laws of the Sea’.  We learned about the history of pirates and how to survive from a pirate attack on a research vessel.

Pirate Day special talk by Dr. Wilhelm


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