Dr. Klaus Meiners is a sea-ice ecologist working at the ACE CRC since 2005. Klaus studied biological oceanography in Germany and received his PhD from Kiel University (Germany) in 2002. In his PhD thesis he compared biological properties of Arctic, Antarctic and Baltic Sea ice. In 2003 and 2004 Klaus worked as a Donnelley postdoc-fellow at the Yale Institute of Biospheric Studies and at Yale’s Department of Geology and Geophysics in New Haven, Connecticut (USA). Klaus’s main research interest are physical and biological interactions in the Antarctic sea-ice zone with a special focus on sea-ice biogeochemistry and sea-ice ecology. Klaus participated in 11 ice-going research expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctic and is coordinating the biological component of SIPEX.
During the cruise Klaus will study biogeochemical and biological properties of the sea-ice. Sea ice consists of two phases: solid ice and brine. The brine fills an interconnected network of pockets that provide a habitat for different organism groups including bacteria, algae and some small metazoans like flatworms and small crustaceans. Klaus will use ice corers to sample the ice and look at the algae and animals living in the ice. In addition he will deploy a so-called Surface and Under Ice Trawl (SUIT) that allows to sample organisms living at the subsurface and in the water just below the ice. Using the SUIT, the biology team is looking for Antarctic krill that feed at the bottom of ice floes during winter when food in the water column is scarce. Antarctic krill is an up to 7 cm long crustacean and a key organism in the Southern Ocean serving as important food source for higher trophic levels, e.g. penguins, seals and whales. The sea-ice biology team will also use an instrumented Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to make optical measurements under the ice and to film the organisms that live at the subsurface of the ice and in the cracks between ice floes.