Genomics, Biodiversity, and Antarctica – three of my favourite things! For all you expedition junkies, these three things are exactly the focus of the 2013 “Ivy Inverts” cruise. My Gulf oil spill collaborator at Auburn University, Ken Halanych (along with an international team of students and colleagues), is currently steaming towards Antarctica aboard the Research Vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer. I have not yet been to Antarctica, so I always follow these awesome cruises with much jealousy. Although my California-weakened body notes that it does look pretty damn cold…
Ken described the project (funded by the US National Science foundation) in a recent e-mail:
We left Punta Arenas Chile Jan 1st, 2013 and arrive into McMurdo Station, Antarctica Feb 7th. The purpose of this cruise is to study genetic patterns of biodiversity in the Bellingshausen, Amundsen and Ross Seas. These are some of the most remote waters on the planet. Given the rapidly changing environment in this region due to climate change, we also want to establish an understanding of where different species currently occur.
You can follow their cruise on Twitter (@Icy_Inverts_AU and @CMU_Antarctica), and find more information at the websites listed below. Just remember guys, Cabin Fever and/or extended periods of sleeplessness DO NOT MIX WELL with Tweeting.
YouTube video describing the project:
Auburn University – Icy Inverts 2013 – sorry DSN readers, I couldn’t embed the video here because of the privacy settings :(