11 October 2008

The Atlantic coccoliths blog

My Natural History Museum colleagues Jeremy Young and Martine Couapel have just embarked on the RRS James Clark Ross (right) for a five-week stint of field work in the Atlantic exploring the distribution of coccolithophores (tiny plant plankton best known for their gorgeous forms as usually captured by scanning electron microscopes, below right).

They're going to be blogging their way from Britain to the Falkland Islands on the Atlantic coccoliths blog, hosted on the Natural History Museum's website. Here's the blurb at the top of the blog:
This blog follows Museum researchers Martine Couapel and Jeremy Young as they collect minute plant plankton, called coccolithophores, in the Atlantic Ocean. They are taking part in the AMT18 (Atlantic Meridional Transect 18) oceanographic research cruise. It will take them from Britain to the Falkland Islands and will last 5 weeks.

The aim of their research is to build a more complete picture of the current distribution of coccolithophores in the Atlantic. Scientists are interested in finding out how coccoliths will be affected by global warming and by increasing levels of acidity in the ocean. Jeremy and Martine's research will provide baseline information about coccolithophores that future studies can be measured against.

(more info about the project here)

The first entry was posted on Monday from the English Channel. I'm hoping to convince Jeremy and/or Martine to share with us their post-cruise blogging wisdom at the Adventure blogging session planned for January's ScienceOnline09 conference in North Carolina.

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