Researchers from the University of East Anglia have joined the UK’s new polar ship RRS Sir David Attenborough as it begins its polar science trials in Antarctica. A team of 30 national and international scientists, engineers and technical staff departed the Falkland Islands on January 31 – where for almost two months they will test the ship's science capabilities in deep polar waters.
The UEA team will be conducting seawater carbonate chemistry sampling and oxygen measurements as part of the Processes Influencing Carbon Cycling: Observations of the Lower limb of the Antarctic Overturning (PICCOLO) project.
Those onboard RRS Sir David Attenborough for the trials include postgraduate researcher Daisy Pickup and senior research associate Dr Isabel Seguro, of the Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Science at UEA. Also, part of the team are Prof Karen Heywood, Dr Dorothee Bakker, Prof Carol Robinson and Dr Rob Hall, who will be based onshore at UEA.
Miss Pickup said: “As an Early Career Researcher it’s really exciting to be taking part in the polar science trials and testing the ship that will be used for polar science in years to come. I’m keen to learn a lot more about the workings of the ship, whilst also having the opportunity to collect data that will help us understand important carbon dynamics in this region.”
Dr Seguro, a senior research associate, said: “I am very excited about taking part in the polar science trials. “My aim is to leave everything ready for the next scientists to get amazing polar data, especially on the PICCOLO project.”
Prof Heywood, principal investigator for PICCOLO, added: “The PICCOLO mooring and the profiling instruments to be deployed on the SDA polar science trials cruise will provide year-round measurements for understanding some of the key processes controlling Southern Ocean carbon uptake.
“This is exciting because we will even make measurements when the sea is covered by a layer of sea ice in the winter time, when we can’t usually get any observations.”
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