This is my first time in Antarctica. Up to now, I have been working at the State Museum of Natural Sciences of Córdoba in Argentina for four years.
Since March 2010 I am also participating and collaborating in research activities at the Department of Marine Ecology of FCEF & Nat - National University of Córdoba (UNC), where I´m now developing my final research work for my biology degree.
I´m working as field assistance in one of the associated projects of IMCOAST: “Benthic key species response to ice scour and sedimentation”. The aim of this project is to analyze the response of Antarctic benthic ecosystems to global warming. We are focussing on benthic community patterns and their relationship with environmental variables. We analyze how the benthic community has changed in the last 15 years and how these changes could be related to glacier retreat. According to that we have evaluated the response of benthic suspension feeders to the increase of sediment load and on the other hand, how new ice-free areas are colonized. On a wider scale we are also analyzing population genetic structure of key organisms such as ascidians and barnacles at a micro- and macro- geographical scale.
My work here at Jubany Station consists basically of taking samples for genetic and physiological analyses. I have also been taking underwater pictures of artificial panels placed here last year to study colonization and succession processes of benthic organisms and developing some experiments in the aquarium.
In my time here in Antarctica I´ve learned that routine does not exist at all. Every activity planned depends on tidal regimes, wind conditions, the amount of sediment in the water column, and so on. However, fortunately you also know you can count on all your fellows here to solve any tricky situation you face.
Finally I would like to remark that most of my work here is possible thanks to Jubany´s staff and especially to the support of the Argentinean diving team.