Microbial biodiversity and community dynamics within and between selected melt water ponds near Bratina Is will help to identify environmental drivers within ponds. Research will examine the metabolic differences that result from geochemical gradients within ponds, and also metabolic differences due to the different geo-chemistries between ponds. Furthermore, temperature manipulation experiments ... will be conducted in the laboratory that will follow changes in the biodiversity and metabolism of these populations, providing a model for examining the effect that warming due to global climate change will have in Antarctica. At Bratina Island 150 biological and geochemical samples were taken from varying depths in 6 melt-water ponds (P70E, Legin, Salt, Huey, Fresh and Brack) and a single sample was taken from each of the 34 additional ponds on the McMurdo ice shelf near Bratina Island. Additionally 14L of pond water from Orange pond was collected to be used in temperature and contamination manipulation experiments. Soil samples (25) were collected from various locations to establish if/what impact a genetic level, humans are having to the study site. A detailed genetic finger printing analysis will be conducted and linked to geochemical parameters to determine what the main abiotic drivers are in these highly dynamic ponds.
During the 2013 season I revisted Bratina Island to conduct further studies on the impact of humans and the microbiology in the water columns. I conducted 43 Water Column biological and geochemical samples, 22 50mL samples of Soil, 14 sediment cores. Also during the 2013 season I did some research at Miers valley on the same matters conducting 54 water column biological and geochemical samples, 16 50mL samples of Soil, 17 sediment cores.