Multi-tasking! The “Bottle Lady” of James Clark Ross and her happy bioassay team in the clean container
Sophie Richier, NOC, Sunday, 1st July 2012
The 1st of July! We can finally say we are back on land this month.
This is also the last day of science on board. The next piece of land we will see on the horizon is Iceland where we will dock tomorrow. Five weeks at sea is quite long but the science keeps us so busy that time is flying in a way…
A whole range of physical and mental challenges filled our days but the delight of the seascapes around us was enough to recharge our batteries. Nature was generous and offered us a few glances of amazing wildlife.
Half of my days were spent in two containers: the bioassay incubator and the clean container, doing anything but science. Mark and I were in charge of the bioassay experiments, providing samples for eager scientists, which means a lot of logistics…and a lot of water!!!
Acid washing, filling, emptying, drying, cleaning, trashing, carrying…we have handled at least 500 polycarbonate bottles and poured 2250 L of water just for the main bioassays… but I can say now that all is behind that I had lots of fun thanks to the good company in the early mornings!
The rest of my day was dedicated to science in a third container. Trying to investigate what was going on in those bottles we had lovingly filled up and incubated.
We were mainly focused on the physiological response of the phytoplankton to future ocean changes. Although the measurements conducted on board give us some clues, we are still largely working blind, waiting to be back in the lab to get more answers. Multi-tasking is how I defined my job on board and it was far from boring!