MOSAiC: Sea Ice Microbiology and the Role In Cycling of Sulfur (DMS, DMSP, DMSO, MT)

Who are the people in the team?

Dr Hendrik Schäfer (PI), (the University of Warwick, School of Life Sciences)

Dr Yin Chen (Co-Investigator), (the University of Warwick, School of Life Sciences)

Dr Jonathan Todd (Co-Investigator), (the University of East Anglia, School of Biological Sciences)

The team of investigators includes environmental microbiologists (Dr Hendrik Schäfer, Dr Jonathan Todd and Dr Yin Chen) whose research focuses on the cycling of atmospheric trace gases, in particular those that contribute to atmospheric aerosol formation such as dimethylsulfide, dimethylsulfoniopropionate and nitrogeneous osmolytes and their degradation products.

Dr Alison Webb, (the University of Warwick)

Dr Alison Webb and Dr Jacqueline Stefels are experts in the measurement of the organic sulfur compounds in environmental samples and application of stable isotope tracer techniques to follow their dynamics in polar environments.

International partners

Dr Jacqueline Stefels, (the University of Groningen, the Netherlands)

What are the questions asked in the framework of the MOSAiC project?

The project is called SIMbRICS, which stands for Sea Ice Microbiology and the Role in Cycling of Sulfur. We will contribute to the measurement of the concentrations and turnover of a number of significant biogenic sulfur compounds that play a key role as a source for atmospheric aerosol (dimethylsulfoniopropionate, dimethylsulfide, dimethylsulfoxide, methanethiol) in sea ice and sea water using advanced analytical techniques.

Subsequently, we will use microbiological and molecular biological approaches to characterise those microorganisms in the Arctic Ocean (sea ice, sea water) that contribute to the production and degradation of these sulfur compounds and thereby reveal the identity of the organisms and their metabolic pathways that drive the production of important trace gases.

When will the team be on the ship?

In combination with collaborators from the Netherlands the team will cover the first four legs of the MOSAiC cruise.

How are you getting to the ship?

Which ever way the MOSAiC scientists are taken to and from the Polarstern, eg supply icebreakers or helicopter.

What else have you worked on?

Dr Stefels and Dr Webb have recently worked extensively on similar processes in the Antarctic. Dr Schäfer, Dr Chen and Dr Todd have identified the genetic and biochemical basis of organic sulfur cycling and worked on the ecology of these processes in a range of environments, including recent work in coastal salt marshes and the English Channel.

E-mail address of PI