In May, the Krause laboratory finished the second and final research cruises for the Coastal LouisianA Silicon Cycling (CLASiC) project funded by the National Science Foundation (OCE 1558957).
As reported in Fall 2016, Silicon is an essential element for one of the most important phytoplankton groups, diatoms. This study is focused on understanding the role Silicon plays in the Louisiana Shelf system and how the changes in the Mississippi River may affect it, and diatoms, in the future. This cruise included colleagues from Louisiana State University, University of Southern Mississippi, Athens State University, and Florida Atlantic University.
Krause was joined by his Laboratory Technician and Manager Sydney Acton, two Ph.D. students from the University of South Alabama, Israel Marquez and Rebecca Pickering, and two of the 2017 DISL REU students, Ms. Marnie Tabor and Ms. Rachel Pugh. The group loaded the Research Vessel Pelican on May 3 in heavy downpour and severe weather. When leaving port in Cocodrie, LA, the group steamed directly into 10+ foot seas.
“We had a rough start, most of the science personnel (myself included) were on the back deck trying to acclimate to the weather. I was fortunate to have a tough and hard-working bunch, who got the job done in good weather and bad. Overall, I am proud of this team!” says Krause.
The instrumentation brought aboard included state of the art high-speed imaging systems including the FlowCam and Holocam. Both systems work like rapid microscopes analyzing 1000s of particles magnified by 50 - 100x life size in a fraction of the time it would take a person.
The FlowCam, a unit owned by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, is designed for benchtop work and the Holocam, unit owned by Florida Atlantic University (Dr. James Sullivan’s laboratory group) can be deployed over the side of the vessel to see the tiniest microscopic organisms in real time.
The Krause lab got back only to turnaround and go to sea again: Krause will be in the Bering and Chukchi Seas (Alaska) in June, intern William Dobbins is finishing up a 2-month research trip in Greenland Institute of Natural Resources in mid-June, and student Rebecca Pickering will travel to Newfoundland, Canada in July to board a 45-day research expedition with colleagues from University of Bristol (United Kingdom) in the Labrador Sea and coastal Greenland.
These are exciting times in the Krause lab and stay tuned for more news!