Laure Maugendre

My role in MedSeA Stareso:
During Stareso mesocosms experiment, I’ll be involved in stable isotopes measurements. In one part, with Fred and others from the LOV, I’ll use oxygen 18 to measure gross primary production of the community. In the other part I’ll measure carbon 13 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, 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:
As a “baby” scientist (see below) I’m really excited to participate to this trip. Many reasons are in cause. It’s a European scientific experiment, that’s mean we’ll meet lot of people from different country, culture, opinion, … as I like meet new people beside which I can learn about life this will be a great personal experience. In other part, because the Stareso marine station is located in a wonderfull place and I’m looking forward to swim there, look the sunset (and sunrise because we’ll wake up very early for the primary production incubation!!) and live there for 2 months. And last (but there is no order in what I’ve written) as it’s large-scale experiment we’ll measure different parameters and I’ll learn about science and oceanography.

More about my research:
As I mentioned I’m a baby scientist, meaning that I’ve started my PhD (first step to become scientist) in October 2011 with Fred as co-supervisor. 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 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 will be 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. This experiment was also a good exercise to test the method that we don’t usual use in the lab: 13C. The Carbon 13 is a stable isotope (not dangerous) that we add in our system (mesocosms i.e.) in inorganic form and this 13C will be incorporated by phytoplankton during photosynthesis and later transfer to the bacteria and zooplankton. This data will allow us to do modelling and predict Carbon biogeochemistry in the future high pCO2 world.

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