The Final Plymouth Sample
I returned to Plymouth on Sunday, May 24th after attending a wedding in Venice. During my time away I missed a tour of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and the Marine Biological Association. Fortunately, Dr. Jack Gilbert arranged a second round of tours for Sorcerer II crew members who had not been able to attend. Like Karolina I was very impressed with both institutions. (For more details on the tours, please refer to Karolina's blog of May 20th). I also apparently missed many good times that the crew of Sorcerer II shared with the PML team including a great dinner with staff from the University of Exeter, and the University of Plymouth Medical School.
On Thursday, May 28th the Sorcerer II crew, accompanied by Dr. Jack Gilbert and two of his PhD students, headed out for one final sampling trip. The destination was E-1, a long term research station for PML located about 25 miles off the coast of Plymouth in the English Channel. As we arrived on site PML's research vessel Plymouth Quest was there collecting ancillary samples to be paired with our metagenomics data. Below is the CTD cast from station E-1. Based on the information collected from the CTD cast, the Sorcerer II crew, Dr. Gilbert and the scientific team on the Plymouth Quest decided on a four point water column profile. The profile consisted of a surface sample, a sample at the top of the thermocline (20 meters), a sample at the bottom of the thermocline (30 meters) and a benthic sample (72 meters). As you would imagine it was a long day of sampling, and we are very interested in pairing PML's extensive data collection at E-1 with our samples.