Anna Vader Molecular biologist RF3 (Unis)

What is your specific role in the project?

Metabarcoding and metatranscriptomics of protists living in sea-ice and the pelagic; who are they and which functions do they carry out? I will also look into their role in the food chain, by addressing the diet of selected zooplankton using molecular methods.

Which scientific question do you hope to answer at the end of the project?

I would like to find out whether the protist communities inhabiting the northern Barents Sea are different from those further south, and whether their ecological functions are conserved. Specifically I hope to learn more about the way solar energy enters the system, along a south to north, seasonal and open water to sea ice gradient.

Photo: Marine microalgae group NFH/UiT

If you had to choose another discipline within the Nansen Legacy, which one would you choose?

Physical oceanography. Marine microbes are completely dependent upon the currents and water masses, and my colleagues at UNIS have convinced me that this is an absolutely fascinating topic.

Photo: Rudi J. M. Caeyers

The Arctic, what fascinates you the most?

Living here permanently, I never stop being amazed at the extreme seasonal changes; from months of complete darkness to nonstop sun. And the blue periods in between when the day becomes 20 minutes (!) longer every day. Everything seems to be urgent, taking place here and now.

What is the first thing you think off when hearing the name, Fridtjof Nansen?

The crossing of Greenland. Going into the unknown. And choosing to do it East to West, to make sure the only choice was to succeed.

Which book/film/music has made the largest impression on you lately?

I very much enjoyed the book "Stiklingen", by the Icelandic writer Audur Ava Olafsdottir. Not spectacular in any way, but a beautifully written story.

Photo: colourbox.com

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