The Arctic is warming at rates more than twice the global average, and much larger changes are projected for high northern latitudes by the end of this century. In our project we study freshwater microbiology to identify sentinel microbiome properties of northern freshwater environments that can be used to improve surveillance of Arctic ecosystem health in the face of these increasing climate perturbations. The project is funded by funded by a UK-Canadian partnership bursary and in collaboration with researchers from Laval University and Centre for Northern Studies (CEN) – and is part of Sentinel North.
Of particular importance are cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, as they are keystone primary producers, contributors of bioavailable nitrogen, drivers of food webs and carbon cycling in Arctic freshwater ecosystems. However, little is known about their biodiversity in the Canadian Arctic. I therefore, visited Canada this August to carry out field work and collect samples from freshwater environments such as lakes, ponds and streams to carry out DNA sequencing analysis of the freshwater microbiology.
To kick start our Citizen Science blog for 2016, Olivia Philipps and Caroline Steel, Science Communication students from Imperial College London, have produced a series of three podcasts interviewing Dr. Anne Jungblut, the lead researcher of The Microverse project.
In the podcasts, Olivia and Caroline pose questions asked by students from The Long Eaton School, Nottingham, and Prospect School, Reading, who participated in the project.
In this first one we find out what inspired Anne to pursue a career in microbial research:
Produced by Olivia Philipps and Caroline Steel. With thanks to The Long Eaton School for contributing questions and Helen Steel for posing them to Anne on their behalf.
Watch this space for the second in this series of podcasts, where we’ll find out about the results of The Microverse project.