Laure Maugendre

LaureMy role in MedSeA Villefranche : During Stareso mesocosms experiment, I’ll be involved in stable and radioactive isotopes measurements. In one part, with Fred and others from the LOV, I’ll use classic methods to measure the biomass production production into the mesocosms but this yer I will also use radioactive 14C to measure the production and capacity to calcify. In the other part I’ll measure carbon 13 (a stable isotope) in different compartments in order to follow Carbon fixation and subsequent transfer in the Ocean and others trophic levels (bacteria and zooplankton). Carbon chemistry is one of our main interest because human activities are changing the natural equilibrium that existe since many years in Gaïa.I’ll be also there to build the mesocosms, install the labs and also to clean every thing at the end of the experiment. So, I’ll follow all the process and as I’m also in charge of this blog, with Angela and Justine, I’ll report you most of the previous and after work. Concerning the blog, don’t hesitate to contact us if any problem (or advices!!) with the blog.

My thoughts on the trip:

It will our second mesocosms experiment, even this I’m still excited to build and sample  the  mesocoms. However will be a bit harder as water temperature will be 13°C instead of the 23°C from Stareso. Wetsuit recommended!! I’m also a bit sad because will be my last experiment of the thesis…

More about my research:

Before doing my PhD I did a Master in Marine Chemistry in Brest (Britany, France) and my Master internship in Southampton on Coccolithophores lab cultures. I’ve started my thesis in October 2011 and will finish in September 2014.

I always have had concerned in phytoplankton because they represent the first step to higher trophic levels and fishes. I also have worries about human impact on these tiny, but essentials, organisms. That does explain why I applied for this thesis: impact of ocean acidification on pelagic plankton community in Mediterranean Sea.

The project is based in the mesocosms experiment and laboratory experiment. We did the first lab experiment in March 2012 to see the effects of ocean acidification and/or global warming on planktonic community and the first mesocosms experiment in June-July 2012. For the thesis I use chemicals tools to understand the biology. For example, we add carbon 13 a stable isotope (not dangerous) in inorganic form and this 13C will be incorporated by phytoplankton during photosynthesis and later transfer to the bacteria and zooplankton. The data will allow us to do modelling and predict Carbon biogeochemistry in the future high pCO2 world.

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