Scientific projects

Objectives

The overarching objective of the expedition is to delineate the impact of contrasted glacial regimes on the structure of shallow benthic communities in a fast-warming region of the Southern Ocean. The idea is to refine insights gained in the plasticities of these communities in the framework of the RECTO/vERSO projects. This objective will be tackled using a multi-faceted approach, as determined in the RECTO project. This approach is matched by the complementary competences of the scientific crew.

Main Scientific Questions

The expedition will be a unique opportunity to address a series of underlying scientific/logistic questions, including:

  • to map the marine habitats in selected locations from the Gerlache Strait
    to quantify the physiological sensitivity of selected species to contrasted environmental conditions
  • to assess the levels of biodiversity in an underexplored area of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP)
  • to model trophic networks in fast-changing environmental conditions
  • to test the concept of using an agile platform for Antarctic marine biology work and its potential to fill knowledge gaps
  • to quantify the levels of variability of a set of environmental parameters at fine scale
  • to determine the levels of plastic contamination, including adsorbed pollutants (organic and inorganic)