New Zealand’s Antarctic Science Platform is planning an ambitious ship-based expedition to undertake extensive sampling of shallow benthic marine communities in Antarctica’s Northern Victoria Land. We are seeking funding partners and international collaborators to make this voyage a reality.
Our sea voyage is dedicated to revealing the undersea biodiversity and biogeography of Antarctica’s nearshore coastal ecosystems.
The voyage science is designed to:
Activities include state of the art research techniques, including isotopic analysis, genescaping, eDNA, machine-learning approaches to habitat and community classification, gathering of key environmental measurements, and deployment of ROVs, camera sleds and ocean gliders. While coastal biodiversity is a focus of the voyage, access to the coastal environment and optimal use of vessel time in the region, means we’ll also collect physical data to enhance aligned research.
Primary themes: Regional Biodiversity
Theme 1 - Spatial Patterns in Nearshore Benthic Biodiversity
Characterising benthic communities (species distributions, community and habitat structure) at multiple sites within a series of study locations.
Theme 2 - Spatial Patterns in Benthic Processes
Determining functional attributes of benthic communities with a focus on food web dynamics and the relative importance of different nutrient and carbon pathways at the various locations and sites.
Theme 3 - Genetic Structures and Connectivity in Coastal Communities
Using genetic variability to understand links within-population diversity and inter-population connectivity.
Theme 4 – Environmental Setting and Underway Sampling
Gathering contextual information for Northern Victoria Land, including chemical and physical sampling of water, sediments and the atmosphere.
Secondary themes: Aligned and opportunity research
Theme 5 – Oceanography
Characterising water mass and biophysical conditions using oceanographic sensors .
Theme 6 - Top Predators
Developing remote sensing methodologies for the distribution and population size of pack-ice seals.
Theme 7 – Paleoecology
Collection of shallow marine sediment cores for reconstructing historical sea ice extent and biological shifts.
Contact us for more information.