All packed and ready to sail across the Atlantic, looking for coccolithophores and dust!

We have just finished packing our beautiful old iron-boxes containing all the lab material for collecting coccolithophores (and dust!) all across the Atlantic Ocean, on board the RRS James Clark Ross (JCR) during the next AMT28 (Atlantic Meridional Transect). We will sail only later in the fall, but we are already super excited about all the discoveries yet to come! :) 

"Marine biogeochemical and ecological dimensions of a changing ocean" - a training course organised by IPMA and CCMAR!

Over the past week we had this amazing opportunity to be part of the Marine  Biogeochemistry Training School on: Biogeochemical and Ecological Dimensions of a Changing Ocean", nicely organised by IPMA and CCMAR and hosted by The University of Algarve (Portugal). During the course we could learn from and discuss scientific ideas directly with big names in science such as Adina Paytan, Jerry McManus and Susanne Neuer.

Preparing the seawater samples for the microscope analysis!

The past few weeks were very busy preparing the plankton samples for the taxonomic microscope analysis and doing the first observations and counts. More than 100 slides were mounted at the Laboratory of Calcareous Nannofossils (Nanolab) at the Instituto Dom Luiz of the University of Lisbon, for the identification and quantification of the coccolithophore species thriving all along the the photic layer of the tropical North Atlantic. 

Strolling around one of the most arid places in our planet: Atacama Desert!

Since we were in Chile, we couldn't miss to travel further north and visit the amazing Atacama Desert, one of the most arid places on Earth. Dust lifted from the Atacama Desert is known to be incorporated into higher air layers and carried by the SE trade winds over and into the Pacific Ocean, similarly to what we known for the Saharan desert and the Atlantic.