The expedition begins on October 25, 2003. Check in with us for research and event updates.

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Take a look at the Antarctic protist culture collection established from previous Antarctic criuises.

Party on! Principal investigator Dr. Rebecca Gast and her group from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution along with Co-PI Dr. David Caron's group from the University of Southern California are going to the Ross Sea during austral spring on board the ice breaker Nathaniel B. Palmer. The research objective is to assess protistan community structure and function using both molecular and morphological techniques. Protist samples will be taken from the water column, pack ice and slush environments of the Ross Sea. Rebecca and Dave have found protist communities of the Ross Sea to contain a great deal of diversity. Of special interest is the varying community structure between the different microenvironments of water, ice and slush. By studying the physiology and molecular characteristics of these psychrophillic and psychrotolerant protists Rebecca and Dave can gain insights in to evolutionary history, ecological relationships and adaptive strategies.