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Antarctic Genomic and Proteomic Survey

Researchers Prepare for Fourth Sampling Trip to Antarctica

As part of the ongoing mission of the J. Craig Venter Institute's Environmental Genomics program, two JCVI researchers — Jeff McQuaid and Jeff Hoffman are preparing for their fourth visit to Antarctica where they will sample from November 2-23, 2009. This latest sampling expedition to the icy continent is part of the NSF funded Office of Polar Programs project, "Comparative Genomic and Proteomic Survey of Major Antarctic Marine Phytoplankton: A Foundation for Polar Phytoplankton Genomics". This work is also part of an ongoing collaboration between co-principal investigators, Andrew Allen from JCVI and Mak Saito of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. These two collaborators (along with Jeff Hoffman and other scientists from Dr. Saito's lab) sampled in Antarctica last year. See the Publications page for several scientific papers by these groups relating to phytoplankton genomics, metabolism, trace metal and vitamin nutrition, and physiology.

On previous missions the team has done extensive sampling of inland lakes and ocean waters discovering a great diversity of microorganisms in the frigid waters there. In the past, they arrived via a large, multi-nation scientific vessel from Australia as well as a military plane from New Zealand, which is how this team will arrive on the ice this time. For the first time the team will attempt to keep you posted about their important work with live blogs and Twitter posts from the field. This is an exciting opportunity for teachers, students and others to read about and ask questions of the JCVI scientists as they sample amid the penguins and killer whales in these extreme conditions. Below are some photos from the previous expeditions. Stay tuned for more information and details on how to contact our scientists.

Follow the Antarctic Trip

Follow the researchers during and after the trip on the JCVI Antarctic Blog and on the JCVI Twitter PolarPlankton feed.

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