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Research Voyage to Antarctica

From February until mid-March 2008, New Zealand scientists embarked on an 8-week voyage to the Ross Sea to survey the marine environment and explore the variety of life forms (biodiversity) in the region.

They sailed on board New Zealand’s research vessel Tangaroa and collected samples of marine life that included viruses, bacteria, plankton, benthicfauna, cephalopods, fish and the prey of top predators such as seabirds and whales.

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New Zealand Research

Sci Media Videos

New Zealand IPY-CAML voyage to the Southern Ocean

A guided tour of the Tangaroa

People on board

Antarctic icefish

Week 1: The research vessel Tangaroa

Barnacles and sponges from the seafloor

Week 2: Life on board the Tangaroa

Biodiversity on seamounts

Week 3: Diversity of Ross Sea fish

Collecting and measuring krill

Week 4: Benthos – life on the seabed

Collecting samples with the CTD

Week 5: Plankton in the Ross Sea

Filming on the sea floor

Week 6: Currents in the Southern Ocean

In the engine room

Week 7: Seamounts in the southern seas

Leaving the Wellington harbour

Week 8: Food web of the Ross Sea

Mapping seamounts

Teaching & Learning Approaches

Ocean currents and iceberg movements

Data from RV Tangaroa

Ross Sea currents

Float my boat

Sampling bacteria

A day in the life of a scientist

Sampling zooplankton

Hiding in plain sight

The bottom of the food chain

The benthic zone

The ship's galley

How much life is in a litre of sea water?

The top predators

Saline currents

To eat and be eaten

Multibeam

 

Making a food web

 

With a biodiversity focus, the intention was to collect samples of living organisms from the sea floor to the sea surface, from microscopic to mega-size, across a wide range of environmental and geographic gradients. This included capturing images of the sea floor down to depths of 4,000 metres, in areas not explored before.

To understand how the ecosystem functions, studies of feeding patterns were carried out across as many biological groups as possible, to improve understanding about the ecosystem of the Ross Sea region.

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