Emmelie K. L. Aström defended her PhD last Friday 20th April. The day before, she learned that she has been awarded a prestigious VISTA (The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters) Post-Doctoral position connected to the Nansen Legacy Project.
Her PhDs´ focus was on the offshore continental shelves of Svalbard and in the Barents Sea. Here cold seeps within the depth range of 85-1200 m to describe the animal assemblages and surrounding habitats, were investigated. The aim was to study the ecological structure, diversity and food web dynamics at high-Arctic cold seeps, document how they compared with conventional, non-seep communities, and examine the interaction between seep and non-seep communities where they co-occur.
This is the first dedicated study of high-Arctic cold seeps that focuses on the biological and ecological aspects of sea-floor communities offshore Svalbard and her future work will be an important contribution to the Nansen Legacy
(Photo: David Hammenstig)
The work for the planned post.doc project will be conducted through close collaboration via researchers connected to the Nansen Legacy. We can use existing competence in nearby fields, methodology and facilities to answer the questions connected to the specific cold seeps that will be examined.
(Photo: Working at sea, T. Smelror-Løkken)
Yes, where the first one is scheduled for August later this year with the new vessel K.P. Haakon, fingers crossed that things will work out as planned. With new routines onboard the ship it will take some time to get everyone used to the new ship and how it operates.
(Photo: The habitat around a cold seep in the Barents Sea (380 m deep) Methane derived carbonate crust (rocks) are colonized by various epifauna such as anemones and sponges. Small patches of microbial mats and tufts of chemosymbiotic worms are visible inbetween the carbontes, CAGE).
I am looking forward to the highly interdisciplinary work over all scales. The Nansen Legacy has a holistic approach to assess one of the most important regions (with respect to commercial interest, ecological values and climate change) in the Arctic. There is a lot that happens with the region of the Barents Sea right now and I am very glad to be part of such an interdisciplinary network and also contribute with a piece to the larger puzzle about the Arctic and the Barents Sea Ecosystem.
The post-doc project will focus on the habitat and animals around so called ‘cold seeps’ where methane and gas in naturally seeping out from the seabed. “We will assess theimpact of chemosynthetic carbon sources in marine food webs at Arctic/Barents Seamethane seeps”
(Photo: Fish and carbonate sediments, CAGE)