Testing dust-fertilisation in the lab!

We are currently preparing a coccolithophore batch-culture in which we will test the potential of Saharan dust as a nutrient fertiliser, in which we will use dust samples collected from the Saharan desert pre-adjusted to resemble dust that is naturally deposited in the ocean and leached in acidified ‘artificial rainwater’ for mimicking acid cloud processing. We started with Emiliania huxleyi – probably the most opportunistic of the coccolithophores – but hope to investigate other species as well in the future.

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.