Present and future impact of atmospheric deposition on the structure and functioning of plankton communities in the Mediterranean Sea (Peacetime project cruise)

Internship position (12 ECTS)
This internship will be conducted in the frame of the PEACETIME (Process studies at the air-sea interface after dust deposition in the Mediterranean Sea) project that aims at extensively studying and parameterizing the chain of processes occurring in the Mediterranean Sea after atmospheric deposition, especially of Saharan dust and to put them in perspective of on-going environmental changes. The specific objectives of this work will be to assess the impact of atmospheric deposition on biogeochemical processes and fluxes in various trophic regimes and various climate conditions. Several controlled perturbation experiments will be performed on board R/V during the PEACETIME cruise (May 8th to June 9th 2017) under various environmental conditions. In the framework of this collaborative project, the student will be in charge during the cruise of following the response of the plankton community structure to new nutrients inputs (nitrogen, iron…), and to evaluate the potential modifications of its functioning. We will use new experimental devices currently developed at LOV: the minicosms that are large tanks (300 L) equipped on their top-end with a combination of LEDs that can be modulated to fully reproduce the sun spectrum and irradiance intensity of surface Mediterranean waters during the period of investigation. Thanks to an integrated sampling and to their conical-end shape, minicosms allow following a large number of chemical, biological and physical parameters and to accurately quantify particle export. Eight of these experimental units will be on board to follow simultaneously and with a high temporal resolution, the evolution of biological activity (metabolism, 13C flow), nutrients stocks, dissolved organic matter as well as particles dynamics and export both under present environmental conditions and following a realistic climate change scenario.
A candidate with a background in chemical oceanography and field work experience is sought. Good communication and coordination skills are also required as the experiments will bring together scientists from several European laboratories.
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Cécile Guieu
Reference Number: RP-46761