What Are They Doing?

Scientific scuba divers use bright lights and cover lots of terrain in search for pycnogonids to collect. Turtle Rock, Antarctica. Photo by Timothy R. Dwyer.
Scientific scuba divers use bright lights and cover lots of terrain in search for pycnogonids to collect. Turtle Rock, Antarctica. Photo by Timothy R. Dwyer.
Cold-blooded animals in the Antarctic ocean have survived in near-constant, extreme cold conditions for millions of years and are very sensitive to even small changes in water temperature. However, the consequences of this extreme thermal sensitivity for the energetics, development, and survival of developing embryos is not well understood. This award will investigate the effect of temperature on the metabolism, growth rate, developmental rate, and developmental energetics of embryos and larvae of Antarctic marine ectotherms. The project will also measure annual variation in temperature and oxygen at different sites in McMurdo Sound, and compare embryonic and larval metabolism in winter and summer to determine the extent to which these life stages can acclimate to seasonal shifts. This research will provide insight into the ability of polar marine animals and ecosystems to withstand warming polar ocean conditions.

Where Are They?

The only way below the ice is through one of these 4ft (1.3m) diameter boreholes. McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
The only way below the ice is through one of these 4ft (1.3m) diameter boreholes. McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
The team will be based out of McMurdo Field Station, Antarctica and will be taking day trips to a variety of dive sites. They will drive to most of their sites via PistenBully, though a few will be accessed by helicopter.

Latest Journals

"This land is your land, this land is my land" -Woody Guthrie I looked closely at the giant bird. It's feathers were brown and covered it's large oval body. It's feet were huge and it's neck was very long. As I read the informational signs in the Canterbury Museum I discovered this gigantic…
"Should I Stay or Should I Go?" -The Clash In the midst of writing my journal for today, as we circled above McMurdo Station, Antarctica, an announcement was made that we were heading back to Christchurch. Here is what my day looked like: 4:00am- wake up in Christchurch, New Zealand 5:15am catch…
"It's the final countdown" -Europe Los Angeles...the stars, the lights, the traffic! I knew there was a reason I moved away from this place 19 years ago. I sat in the front seat of my friend, Mike's, mini-van as he navigated his way through the dense traffic. It was my final day in the U.S. and…
"I get by with a little help from my friends" -The Beatles, 1967 In the Southern Ocean, the wind-driven Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) that swirls west to east around Antarctica is the only current that travels around the globe. The path of this current passes by the Indian, Pacific, and…
McMurdo Field Station, Antarctica
Project Funded Title
Thermal Sensitivity of Antarctic Embryos and Larvae: Effects of Temperature on Metabolism, Developmental Rate, and the Metabolic Cost of Development
Amy Osborne - Educator

Amy Osborne is an educator who strives to foster curiosity, a love of learning, and a connection to and stewardship of the natural world with students and adults. In her current role as Education Manager at NatureBridge, a K-12 residential environmental education non-profit that partners with the National Park Service, she leads and trains a group of 27 outdoor environmental science educators.

Amy grew up in southeastern Ohio where she spent her days playing outside and getting dirty in the forests, creeks, and rivers of her hometown of Marietta. After eleven years on the water as a rower and rowing coach at Washington College and the University of Southern California, Amy left rivers and boathouses behind to pursue an M.A. in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. She spent five years teaching 3rd and 4th grade at Carlin Springs Elementary School in Virginia where she discovered how much she loves teaching science! A year after leaving Carlin Springs to wander the world she found her passion for cold places, field research, and place-based outdoor environmental science education at Teton Science Schools graduate program in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Returning to California in 2009, Amy has continued her love of being near water and teaching outdoor environmental science at NatureBridge in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area near Sausalito, California. In her spare time Amy likes being on or in the water, climbing up things, and wandering through new places. She is excited to dive into the world of marine ectotherms in Antarctica.

Amy Moran - Researcher
University of Hawaii

Dr. Moran studies the physiological ecology and evolutionary ecology of marine invertebrates, with a particular focus on early life history stages – embryos and larvae. One major area of emphasis is the effects of temperature on the energy dynamics of growth and development, and in recent years she has studied polar gigantism in both sea slugs and sea spiders. A second area of emphasis is the effects of temperature on growth, development, and success in many invertebrates including barnacles, sea urchins, worms, and snails; current work in Hawaii also looks at the effects of warm-water events and bleaching on the reproductive success of corals. She is an associate professor at the University of Hawaiʽi at Mānoa. (http://www.moranlab.org)

Thermal Sensitivity of Embryos and Larvae of Antarctic Marine Ectotherms Resources

Article in the Marietta Times in Marietta, Ohio about Amy Osborne's upcoming journey to Antarctica to study nudibranchs and sea spiders.

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