Senior Professor at University of Wollongong
It has been a busy month. PhD Student Beat Keller visited us from Germany bringing the new Forschungszentrum Jülich LIFT for Rhys to try out. Then we got new stronger light emitting diodes (LEDs) for our instrument so Rhys and Beat installed these. We can know measure fluoresence over bigger areas of canopy. So Rhys is pretty happy. You can see them working in the dark here.
by Dr Laurence Clarke
Just over 10 years ago, Sharon and I got within 12 nautical miles of Mawson station when we came to Antarctica to collect moss samples as part of my PhD project. At the time the sea ice was too thick and we had to turn back, but we already had enough samples from Casey and Davis so it wasn’t a big deal.
Ex Lab member Dr Laurence Clarke has been on the Kerguelen (k)-Axis Marine Science Voyage aboard the Aurora Australis for about 6 weeks now. He was collecting samples to barcode marine life and wrote a guest blog about his research here.
There is also a news feature on the Australian Antarctic Division web site.
Recent PhD graduate Dr Jessica Bramley-Alves has written an article for the Guardian Higher Education section Why I love my PhD. Like Laurence she worked in Antarctica. She writes “My PhD takes me to one of the last truly wild places on earth. I thought a PhD wouldn’t suit me or I’d find the lab work tedious. But it’s actually been a great adventure”
Read more here
Dr Mel has been in Antarctica for over a week now and we are hoping there will be updates and exciting news but unfortunately the internet is slow (probably doesn't like the cold) and so she is sending messages via whats app. Luckily there is mobile phone coverage on King George Island! Looks like Tavo is on the phone in the lab here.
An article about my seminar last week has been posted on the Universidad de Santiago de Chile web site.Experta advierte sobre los riesgos de los gases de efecto invernadero y el calentamiento de la Tierra or Expert warns of the risks of greenhouse gases and global warming.
After almost a month visiting the Facultad de Quimica y Biologia (Faculty of Chemistry and Biology) at the Universidad de Santiago de Chile it was time for me to come back home. On my last day at the University I gave a lecture to an Undergraduate Class and then in the afternoon the lab prepared a Chilean speciality as a farewell lunch. We had heard a lot about completos but this was our first taste of the real thing.
This week Johanna Turnbull finalised her PhD thesis corrections and so she is now officially Dr Johanna Turnbull. We are going to have a really big party at the next graduation cermony with two mossy PhD graduands together. Well done Dr Johanna!
This picture shows Johanna communing with an Emperor penguin on her way to Casey to do her research.
On Monday I gave a class on Antarctica and our research to a second year Plant Physiology class at Bowdoin College in the US. This was my first experience of doing a remote class and I was glad that I was at the University of Santiago de Chile and could do the class at 12.30pm instead of the middle of the night in Australia.
To celebrate Melinda getting her PhD we took a weekend break in the Atacama Desert. We are very used to cold deserts but this was a whole other experience. Really dry, salty and hot and very high altitude so burning UV radiation. So can plants survive there? Of course they are so tough. Some parts were so dry we didn't see much vegetation but wherever there was a bit of water we saw plants.