Pictured is an ocean organism I imagine marine biologists finding in the icy depths some day. But in addition to continually discovering many new sea floor communities, scientists are also studying ways in which known ones are changing. One such effort is ICE AGED (Investigating Change in Ecology in Antarctica by Gizmologists, Educators and Divers), run by the Benthic Ecology Lab at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, the folks behind SCINI mentioned a couple blog posts ago.
The ICE AGED team has returned to an Antarctic experiment site established in the 1960s, a time considered as the dawn of Antarctic benthic research. Comparing original data with the present state of marine life on abandoned equipment is presenting researchers with a unique opportunity to assess nearly five decades of changes in the local ecosystem. One of those researchers is Paul Dayton, now a 71-year-old professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography who will be revisiting the very cages and floats he secured to the seafloor as a youth. Here’s wishing Paul and the team success in their research under the ice, and perhaps the discovery of a new organism or two in the process. Read their journals here.