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Meteor-Blog 21. July 2008: Breaking the ice

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Today's Blog is contributed by the French student Félix Muller


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Dr. Astrid Ahke

23.07.2008 22:49

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21. July 2008 (Author: Félix Muller)

Today's Blog is by:

Felix Muller“Hi, I’m Félix, a French biologist from the Caribbean University of Guadeloupe (FWI). My research focus is molecular genetics and population genetics. I’m participating in this cruise to carry out sampling for the laboratory of Professor Francoise Gaill at the University of Paris 6. My goal is to sample mussels and tubeworms associated with cold seep ecosystems. What is fascinating about mussels and tube worms? Well, mussels and tubeworms are living in symbiosis with some bacteria. 21. Juli: shiptrackThese bacteria help its host to grow in these extreme environments represented by seep ecosystems: they use sulfide or methane as energy sources and then feed their host with metabolic products from carbon dioxide fixation. The sampling of the animals and their symbionts will help scientists to have a better comprehension about the diversity and the importance of symbiosis interactions in deep-sea cold seep ecosystems.”

 21. Juli: Bild 1

Picture 1: The scientific meeting is held on a daily basis in the conference room. The chief scientist Antje Boetius (at PC in the middle) explains the first dive plan.

Breaking the ice

Yesterday we used the occasion of the long transit to our research area to invite the ship’s crew for having an « Ice Breaker party ». It was a really nice get-together: a good opportunity for the ship’s crew and the scientists to have a talk, get to know each other, share some experience, and even dance. Today, we had several meetings to talk about the details of the biological sampling during the cruise. How we will manage future dives according to all the requests of the biologists. On the other hand, we need to solve technical issues for example how one could combine different payloads of the dive robot QUEST 4000 and sampling approaches in order to provide and satisfy everyone’s need to receive good samples.

Bye for now and until we meet again in some future Atlantic adventures,


21. Juli: Bild 2

Picture 2: The third Nautical Officer, Felix Lauber, helps planning the duration of the transect to the dive sites and the arrival time on site.

 21. Juli: Bild 3

Picture 3. Hustle and bustle in the lab to prepare all instruments for the first dive. Our technician Volker Asendorf is working on the microsensor profiler that will be deployed by the ROV QUEST to conduct in situ measurements.

21. Juli: Bild 4

Picture 4: A moment of relaxation on the aft deck (Jörn Tonnius and Patrick Meyer sitting in deck-chairs). Finally the sun is replacing the cold fog from the first three days at sea.