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ANTSIE Meeting November 2022

Between the 16th-17th November, the ANTSIE research team congregated together in Durham for the second of our team meetings, where we get together and discuss our updates, progress and plans going forward. This time, we welcomed new faces to the team: Anna, who is working on genetics of the modern snow petrel diet, and new stomach oil deposits. Zhongxuan will soon be working alongside the biomarker team (Claire, Mark, Thale, Yas, Ellie, Kerry, Erin) analysing stomach oil deposits.  Rahul recently joined the team, working with Louise Sime and based at the British Antarctic Survey. His research includes climate modelling of both past and future sea ice, and the factors influencing sea ice evolution, and will be working closely with James who is modelling prey species distribution on the team.

The first day included presentations from the team working on the Holocene Period. Mark and Claire presented their work so far on the radiocarbon dating, stable isotope and biomarker analysis of their stomach oil deposits dating from ~ ten thousand years to present. Mike gave a presentation on the wider ice sheet thinning history of the Therons and Dronning Maud Land, which will be vital in understanding what was happening when the stomach oil deposits accumulated. Ewan and Ellie displayed their snow petrel tracking data from this year’s field season and some interpretations of when snow petrels made their journey from their nest to forage along the coastline. Anna gave an introduction to her forthcoming genetics research and her main areas of focus during the upcoming years of her post-doc.

The second day focussed on data and modelling pushing further back in time. Thale and Yas presented work on their stomach oil deposits ranging from before fifty thousand years ago (radiocarbon ‘dead’) to modern day, whilst Rahul and James presented sea ice and prey distribution modelling respectively. Overall, there were some really great discussions and ideas on how we can work with each other to piece together the sea ice history, what to work on and creating plans for the future, including Ewan’s second and James’ first field season beginning this December. There was no shortage of food, ideas and laughter, and we all look forward to the next ANTSIE meeting in 2023!

The whole team together for our November team meeting. Photo: Steve Willis