The Fjord Team

Vreni Häussermann

Pontifica Universidad Católica de Valparaiso

Principal Investigator (Chile)

Vreni  is a marine biologist. Since 2003 she has been the director of Huinay Scientific Field Station. Under her direction Huinay Scientific Field Station has become one of the most active and productive research facilities of Chilean Patagonia with more than 100 publications up to date. She is keen on promoting and undertaking the multi-disciplinary research that is needed to facilitate conservation and sustainable resource management in this region. Her research topics include benthic invertebrates, especially anthozoans (cold-water corals and sea anemones), fjord regions and marine protected areas. In 2009, together with Gunter Försterra she edited and published the first comprehensive taxonomic field guide of marine benthic invertebrates of Chilean Patagonia, the first marine field guide for multiple groups of organisms in the fjord region. Since 2006 she has been counselling the Chilean government concerning sustainable use of the marine resources and marine protected areas. In 2006, her team developed and submitted a proposal for a marine protected area (MPA) in two fjords with unique cold-water coral banks. In 2016, they will present a proposal for a network of MPAs for Chilean Patagonia to the Chilean government. Her work is documented in numerous television and newspaper reports, and a travelling exhibition on marine biodiversity of the Chilean fjord region.

 

Vreni was the recent recipient of 2016 Rolex Laureate award. You can read more about this here and watch Vreni talk about her work here

Samuel Hormazábal

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Principal Investigator - Chile

Samuel integrates the scientific staff associated with long term mooring current observations off Chile in PUCV. He has a broad experience in mooring design, deployment and maintenance. From 1995 he has participated in several cruises as a scientific chief. Using long term current observations at the continental slope and deep sea mooring, sea level data, coastal wind and satellite altimetry, together with linear wave propagation model, Samuel and his colleague have shown that significant fraction of the intra-seasonal to inter-annual variability along the west coast of South America it is associated with coastal trapped waves and Rossby waves forced by equatorial winds. Samuel has also been carrying out several studies on mesoscale variability, physical characteristics and the effects on plankton and fish, using longer available records (up to a decade) of satellite chlorophyll, wind stress and sea level anomalies off South American Coast, together with moored data observations and cruises. His experience with physical oceanographic data and modelling, together with the use of satellite data products for marine productivity (e.g. chlorophyll) will be a valuable asset to PISCES.

Kate Hendry

University of Bristol

Co-Investigator

Kate Hendry is a biogeochemist and chemical oceanographer at the University of Bristol, interested in understanding nutrient cycling in the modern ocean, and the link between past climatic change, ocean circulation, nutrient supply and biological productivity. She did her PhD at Oxford University, working on trace metal cycling in coastal Antarctic waters.   She then went on as a postdoctoral research assistant, and then won a Doherty Scholarship to work at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA.  Here, she worked on the stable isotopes of silicon in biogenic opal, a substance produced by some kinds of algae (diatoms), some protists (radiolarians, for example) and deep-sea sponges. After returning to the UK, she worked at Cardiff University for 18 months, before moving to Bristol as a Royal Society Research Fellow. She has also been funded to carry on her research into silicon isotopes, and will be working on silicon biogeochemistry during the PISCES project. Kate has been on many field expeditions, migrating further north every time, with trips to the Southern Ocean, the Equatorial Atlantic, and – in 2017 –  the Labrador Sea. In her spare time, Kate enjoys listening to strange music, watching strange films and looking after a strange ginger cat.

Alex Anesio

University of Bristol

Co-Investigator

Alex is Professor of Biogeochemistry in the Bristol Glaciology Centre at the University of Bristol. He gained his PhD in Limnology from Lund University, Sweden in 2000. His research combines molecular and biogeochemical approaches to determine microbial functionality and activity in the cryosphere. His previous research demonstrated that microbial activity at the surface of glaciers and ice sheets are responsible for significant carbon and nitrogen fixation with implications for biogeochemical cycles at local and global scales. He is one of the advocates that glaciers and ice sheets are one of the biomes of Earth. He is author in over 65 peer-reviewed papers and has previously secured funding as PI from NERC, The Royal Society, The Leverhulme Trust and The Nuffield Foundation. Recently, he is also the coordinator of an Innovative Training Network, which includes 13 beneficiaries and 15 PhD students (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015) with funding from the EU for investigating microbial communities and processes in the Arctic.

Duncan Purdie

University of Southampton

Co-Investigator

Duncan is a biological oceanographer with over 25 years of research experience with more than 60 published papers. His research has focuses on investigating of the role of phytoplankton and bacteria on carbon and nutrient cycling in estuaries, coastal seas and oceans. He is lead PI on a UK NERC Macronutrient Cycles Programme consortium research grant (NE/J012238/1) entitled, ‘Quantifying annual cycles of macronutrient fluxes and net effect of transformations in an estuary: their responses to stochastic storm-driven events’ and a Co-I on a UK NERC Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry Programme consortium research grant ‘CArbon/Nutrient DYnamics and FLuxes Over Shelf Systems (CANDYFLOSS)’. Duncan will be lending his expertise in helping to classify the fjord microbiology.

Cristian Rodrigo

Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago

Co-Investigator

Cristian is an oceanographer with a background in Earth Sciences with a specialty in Applied Geophysics. He has been a university professor for almost 20 years, teaching undergraduate and post-graduate studies in Universidad Andrés Bello, P. Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and the Universidad de Magallanes. For over 12 years he served in the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy (SHOA) in charge of marine geology, coastal dynamics and bathymetry, and was Deputy Head of the National Centre for Hydrographic and Oceanographic Data. He worked 8 years at the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) in the Science Department, in charge of the Oceanography sub-section and Scientific Education. He has been chief scientist of several oceanographic and hydrographic campaigns and cruises in the Chilean EEZ and the channels and fjords of the Patagonia, and for the INACH Maritime Antarctic Scientific Expedition. His main researches correspond to the exploration of the Antarctic and the South Pacific seafloor, glacimarine environments and the characterization of their natural resources, using oceanographic and geophysical methods. He will be assisting in obtaining sediment cores and interpreting the physical oceanographic component in PISCES.

Günter Försterra

Pontifica Universidad Católica de Valparaiso

Research Collaborator

Günter is a marine biologist at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso. Since 2004 he has been the scientific coordinator of Huinay Scientific Field Station. In 2009, together with Vreni Haussermann he edited and published the first comprehensive taxonomic field guide of marine benthic invertebrates of Chilean Patagonia. His research interests include benthic invertebrate ecology, especially cold-water corals, fjord regions and marine protected areas. He was principal investigator of two research projects (Fondecyt, OBIS) ond mortalities of cold-water corals, and co-investigator in five research projects (Fondecyt, Conicyt and PADI Foundation) dealing with the zoogeography of Chilean Patagonia, and the ecology of cold-water corals, respectively. Günter has co-authored more than 40 scientific publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals (Marine Biology, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Coral Reefs, Nature, etc), and presented more than 60 talks and posters at national and international conferences. Together with Vreni Haussermann, he has organized and led 28 scientific sampling expeditions with up to 11 scientists to remote areas of Chilean Patagonia. On these expeditions he was in charge of the scientific equipment. Since 2006 he has been aiding the Chilean government on sustainable use of the marine resources and marine protected areas.

Maeve Lohan

University of Southampton

Research Collaborator

 

Alex Beaton

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

Research Technologist/Associate

Alex is a postdoctoral researcher in Ocean Technology and Engineering Group who has been for the past 6 years heavily involved in the development, testing and field deployment of the novel LOC (Lab-On-Chip) sensors used in this proposal. Through his work on the DELVE project  he has adapted LOC nutrient/trace metal sensors to operate in the cryosphere and the deep sea, and successfully deployed them in glacial meltwater steams and benthic landers. He is the PISCES sensors expert, and will be deploying LOC sensors on both the terrestrial and fjord fieldwork.

Hong Chin

University of Bristol

Research Associate

Hong Chin's research interests lie in investigating the interplay between climate change and the ocean system, and understanding their links with the biosphere and the cryosphere. Marine sediment is one of the largest natural archive which contains information of past climate and ocean changes, which can be extracted through a series of chemical and physical analyses. During his recent studies he focused on the analysis of the ratio of two uranium-series isotopes (231Pa/230Th) in the sediment, which is a promising proxy of ocean circulation rate. Using sediment samples acquired during a research expedition in the tropical Atlantic, he generated results which contributed to producing a coherent picture of Atlantic Ocean circulation strength over the last 25 thousand years, which has strong links to the abrupt, millennial-scale climate changes during the termination of the last glacial period 20–10 thousand years ago. In this project Hong Chin will be involved in the boat works to carry out in-situ water measurements at the glacier-fed fjord in Tortel region, and to acquire water and sediment samples for further laboratory analyses. A suite of complementary chemical analysis (such as nutrients) that will be carried out on the acquired samples will allow us to obtain information to answer some of the raised questions, such as the impact of enhanced glacier meltwater to the fjord ecosystem.

Maisie Nash

University of Bristol

PhD Student

As part of the PISCES project Maisie will be investigating microbial communities in Patagonian fjords. She is particularly interested in the role of these communities in fjord biochemical cycles, and how these functions may change with global climate warming. She will be isolating the genetic composition of the microbial communities living in both fjord waters and sediments, and identifying the related biogeochemical functions. Maisie studied for her MSci in Physical Geography at the University of Bristol, investigating nutrient export from the Greenland Ice sheet. She is currently pursuing a PhD in glacial microbiology at the Bristol Glaciology centre. She is a keen surfer, and likes to bake in her spare time.

Rebecca Huggett

University of Southampton

PhD Student

Rebecca is interested in the water quality of freshwater and coastal environments. She is currently undertaking a PhD on the impact of macronutrients on the eutrophication status of small estuaries in the UK under the supervision of Prof. Duncan Purdie. As part of the PISCES project, she will be collecting phytoplankton and zooplankton samples for microbiology analysis. Eventually she aims to model the water quality in the fjord to gain a better understanding of the seasonal environmental conditions that lead to potential eutrophication problems.