Biodiversity Day Talk: Ice Alive

On 24th May I spoke to the Biodiversity Festival - it was moderated over a Zoom call and live streamed to Youtube. You can watch HERE. I was talking about an often overlooked aspect of glacier melting that ties in very tightly with the theme of biodiversity. Here's a transcript: We do not usually think … Continue reading Biodiversity Day Talk: Ice Alive

Discover Magazine: Ecosystem Engineers on ice

In June's Discover Magazine, science writer Elizabeth Preston explored the mysterious world of icy microbes, focussing on cryoconite. I was lucky enough to chat to Elizabeth several times and provide some photos for the article. Elizabeth described how cryoconite granules form when mineral particles and other debris are "ensnared... in the sticky arms of cyanobacteria" … Continue reading Discover Magazine: Ecosystem Engineers on ice

Biocryomorphic evolution on the Greenland Ice Sheet

Our new paper, "Metabolome induced biocryomorphic evolution promotes carbon fixation in Greenlandic cryoconite holes" came out this week. The main finding is that cryoconite holes can change their shape in three dimensions to maintain comfortable conditions for microbial life - an example of biocryomorphology in action. Here's a summary of the main points: Cryoconite holes … Continue reading Biocryomorphic evolution on the Greenland Ice Sheet

Video: What Lives on Ice and Snow?

Here's a link to Krzysztof Zawierucha's (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan) new film about the biology of ice and snow, including cryoconite holes, snow and ice surfaces. The film clearly shows why Earth's ice and snow represents a threatened store of biodiversity and illustrates some of the feedbacks between physical and biological processes operating in the cryosphere. See also Krzysztof's paper in … Continue reading Video: What Lives on Ice and Snow?

NEP Video

Here is a quick video I made outlining the well-known "total dissolved inorganic carbon" (TDIC) procedure for measuring Net Ecosystem Productivity.  It is a very basic aide-memoir for undergraduate and postgraduate students showing the major steps in the TDIC procedure. There is a paper document to accompany this video available to students working in the labs at the … Continue reading NEP Video

New Scientist’s “Icy Oases” Article: The full interviews!

New scientist recently published an article introducing cryoconite holes as oases for microbial life on ice surfaces. As 'new scientists' working on cryoconite, colleagues Arwyn Edwards (Aberystwyth University), Karen Cameron (GEUS / Dark Snow Project) and I were interviewed by science writer Nick Kennedy. Of course only a few sound-bites made it into the final … Continue reading New Scientist’s “Icy Oases” Article: The full interviews!

Water Bears on Ice: Guest blog by Jesamine Bartlett

Huge thanks to Jesamine Bartlett - a recent MSc graduate from the University of Sheffield who has been working on Tardigrade research - for providing this introduction to the weird world of water bears... Whether or not you like microbiology, bugs, or even science, no one can deny the frankly awesome nature of the Tardigrade. … Continue reading Water Bears on Ice: Guest blog by Jesamine Bartlett

A Cryoconite Bibliography

Below is a bibliography of cryoconite literature that may help those looking for material in this field. I will endeavour to regularly update this with omissions and new work! If you are a cryoconite researcher/enthusiast and you notice anything I've missed, please let me know so I can make this as complete as possible! CRYOCONITE … Continue reading A Cryoconite Bibliography

Measuring NEP

Some under- and post-grad students recently asked me to explain how to measure NEP in cryoconite holes, and this post represents a brief overview on their behalf - apologies to other readers who may find this a bit "niche" - something more accessible next time! What is NEP? NEP stands for Net Ecosystem Productivity and is a … Continue reading Measuring NEP

Carbon Flux Modelling

C Flux Modelling To date, three attempts have been made to model carbon (C) fluxes in the supraglacial environment, all in the past five years. These models tried to reconcile 'snapshot' measurements of net ecosystem productivity (relative rates of photosynthesis and respiration - NEP) made at a small number of sites with atmospheric carbon fluxes … Continue reading Carbon Flux Modelling