PhD candidate Erik Wurz and MSc student Tjitske Kooistra have been busy in the Laboratories of the University in Bergen, Norway for the last two weeks. While the first snow is covering the mountain tops surrounding the city, they are setting up experimental systems for a long-term acclimatisation experiment with the deep-water sponge Geodia barretti.
Experimental animals have been collected in the Arctic back in August this year and are now about to be exposed to different treatments, resembling future ocean conditions. Today the team sets sail to a sampling trip to collect sediments from the fjords around Bergen. These sediments will be used to unravel the stress response of Geodia barretti to suspended sediment. The scientific value of this study lies within the combination of this potential stressor with the combination of manipulated seawater conditions. This will gain insights about the response of the key-species Geodia barretti to local disturbances in a future ocean.
But now: a lot of sediment has to be sieved to get a homogenised sediment for the treatments.