Over the past few decades, sea ice in the Arctic has been in rapid decline. The ice is retreating earlier and advancing later year on year and the area remaining frozen over the summer is also diminishing. These changes in sea ice dynamics will have an effect on primary productivity in the Arctic. There are greater proportions of younger ice as we close in on an imminent ice free summer which will affect the ecology and life history of sea ice algae. Increasing open water area may lead to increased pelagic production and change the oceanographic conditions of the Arctic.
The aim of my project is to study benthic communities under the seasonal sea ice and use various molecular techniques to understand the food web structure and the source of the organic input to the benthos, whether it be sympagic (ice associated) or pelagic production.
My project is under the larger Arctic PRIZE project which is addressing the question of how reductions in sea ice will affect productivity in the Arctic. This project is part of a number of projects in NERC’s Changing Arctic Ocean program.
Dr Bhavani Narayanaswamy, SAMS
Dr Kim Last, SAMS
Dr David McKee, University of Strathclyde
Dr Thomas Brown, SAMS
UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
University of the Highlands and Islands
2017 MSci Marine and Freshwater Biology. University of Glasgow
I have experience on a number of research expeditions including a 3-week oceanographic cruise into the north Atlantic on the RRS Discovery Southampton and a short benthic ecology focused cruise on the RV Helmer Hanssen around the high Arctic fjords of Svalbard, Norway.