Project participants


Alison Murray (lead PI) (bio page)

Project role: responsible for project planning and execution. Alison will sample the wintertime bacterioplankton assemblage to study the community gene expression profiles and protein expression profiles with our Australian collaborator, Rick Cavicchioli. Alison will also conduct various microbial activity assays and molecular profiling surveys in Palmer Station laboratory and help to coordinate the multifaceted team described below.

Alison Murray

Hugh Ducklow (co-PI, lead PI of the Palmer LTER program) (bio page)

Project role: studying the population dynamics of the winter prokaryote community; changes in the abundance and activity of the total cell assemblage both in the field and in the experimental mesocosms. Also determining the lability and decay timescales of semi-labile DOC in water and sea ice.

Hugh Ducklow

Joe Grzymski (co-PI) (bio page)

Project role: measuring respiration in natural Antarctic bacterioplankton populations. Also the disentanglement of the role of sulfur metabolism in the winter bacterioplankton populations. Also responsible for bioinformatic analysis of metagenomic end-sequence libraries and whole fosmid sequences.

Joe Grzymski

Kristen Myers (Graduate student in the Brown-MBL joint program)

Project role: sample collections and experimental research. Her work will involve studying the community structure of the winter bacterio- and archaeoplankton assemblage, focusing on the temporal dynamics of specific species of interest. She will assist the team in designing mesocosm experiments to investigate the influence of environmental factors on the structure of the winter community. In addition, she will be conducting research on the metabolic capabilities of key species within the assemblage.

Kristin Myers

Christian Riesenfeld (DRI, NSF Biological Informatics Postdoctoral Fellow)

Project role: Computational analysis of Antarctic bacterioplankton metagenomes, investigation of genetic diversity and physiological capabilities, bioinformatics software development.

Christian Riesenfeld

Vivian Peng (Research associate, DRI)

Project role: will participate in field work, conduct molecular biological research to quantify marine microorganisms of interest in the plankton, and assay gene expression for targeted species and functional genes.

Vivian and Penguin

Matt Erickson (Research associate, MBL)

Project role: lab and data management for the Ducklow Lab, biogeochemical and flow cytometric analyses. Field work at Palmer Station will include field sampling, providing assistance in conducting experiments, and nutrient analyses.

Matthew Erickson



Jean-François Ghiglione (foreign collaborator from Baynuls sur mer)

Project role: collect and analyze bacterial diversity and activity in environmental and experimental conditions; share DNA extracts of planktonic communities collected at the French Sub-Antarctic station (Kerguelen Islands) during the entire year 2007-2008 and compare with results found at US Palmer station; conduct bacterial diversity manipulations (dilution experiments).


Rick Caviccioli (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)

Project role: Dr. Cavicchioli’s laboratory studies microbial cold adaptation using proteomics, specifically of archaea in a lake in the Vestfold Hills of Antarctica. Our collaboration will explore the proteins expressed (proteome) in the winter and summer bacterioplankton assemblages. This is a new field – environmental proteomics - and together with the metagenomic libraries that we have sequenced (surveying the genes that are present), and the environmental transcriptomics (surveying the genes that are expressed in the plankton), environmental proteomics aims to survey the proteins that are expressed, which are the end point and indicate the real “work” that is occurring in the organisms being sampled. By understanding the complexity of all three cellular elements (DNA, RNA and Protein) of an ecosystem, we hope to be able to get a global “systems” level understanding of how the ecosystem copes with the daily challenges of living in the Southern Ocean, as well as how it changes seasonally.


Dave Kirchman (College of Marine and Earth Studies, University of Delaware, Lewes, Delaware, USA) (bio page)

Project role: Dr. Kirchman’s group has an IPY project in the Arctic Ocean working out of Barrow Alaska. They have sequenced a metagenomic library collected from ? . We plan to work with Dr. Kirchman to compare the genome contents of the Arctic and Antarctic metagenomes, and to evaluate the nature of cold adaptation between these two data sets.


David Pearce (British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, England) (bio page)

Project role: Dr. Pearce is working with the Long Term Monitoring and Survey program, to construct a metagenomic library of Southern Ocean surface water collected from the Scotia Arc in order to investigate potential changes within the microbial community in response to environmental change. We plan to compare the metagenome libraries generated from the waters off Palmer Station with the BAS library from the Scotia Arc.


Connie Lovejoy (Université Laval, Québec, Canada) (bio page)

Project role: Dr. Lovejoy studies microbial ecology of Arctic marine protists and bacteria. Our collaboration is centered on comparing microbial plankton community composition between the Arctic and Antarctic.


Carol Arnosti (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA) (bio page)

Project role: Carol is a marine organic geochemist and studies the carbon cycle in marine systems. Our collaboration with Carol will involve conducting experiments to see if the wintertime bacterioplankton can utilize several kinds of high molecular weight polysaccharide compounds (through hydrolysis of the sugar molecules) that she has developed.