Life between mud and microscope.
Hello from the southernmost continent! After a long wait until boarding the Research Vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer, plus a long transit from New Zealand to Antarctica, the science finally has begun!!
Here we breathe science 24/7 and I have totally lost track of the days, I even don’t know what time is. The only thing that I keep track right now is: has the Megacore arrived yet?
The work is intense and muddy, and organization is key to make things happen. The idea is whenever the Megacore arrives on the deck we have everything in hand and… Let the slicing begin!!! We process the cores (usually around 10 cm depth), we finish, we clean, and we organize everything to be ready for the next station (hoping for a long transit!)
The muddy work is done, so it is time to see under the scope and check for the life in between the grains (my favorite part!). I am always amazed once I have my eyes on the scope and start to see the little creatures moving around. It is incredible to think that the bottom of the oceans, which many people might think to be lifeless, are home to many extraordinary creatures, including the AMAZING nematodes.
Well, this is life in Antarctica so far: muddy, salty, but very joyful!! I am truly happy to have the opportunity to come here and do my science!!
Anyway, end of a busy day!! Work is done and now I will enjoy a good rest after washing off all the mud (because I am always either salty, or covered in mud, or both!)
University of Georgia
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