Through an international collaboration between SEDNA Expeditions and the Millennium Institute for Biodiversity of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Ecosystems (BASE), a group of scientists navigated the frozen waters of the Weddell Sea to carry out studies on microorganisms, lichens, mosses, flowering plants, algae, marine invertebrates, fishes, Adelie and emperor penguins.
Antarctica, January 10th, 2023.- An international collaboration has never been seen before, was the result of the work between SEDNA Expeditions and the BASE Millennium Institute in the 2022-2023 Antarctic campaign that was developed together with scientists from France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Chile.
With the aim of studying microorganisms, lichens, mosses, flowering plants, algae, marine invertebrates, fishes, and Antarctic seabirds including Adelie and emperor penguins, a group of researchers from the BASE Millennium Institute traveled to one of the most unexplored points of the Antarctic continent, the Larsen B platform, on a 15-day expedition that took them across the Atlantic Ocean and the Weddell Sea.
“This expedition is a pioneer of its kind since it integrates international collaborative work between scientific research, tourism, and science communication, and it allowed us to obtain data from an area little explored by science”, says the director of the BASE Millennium Institute, Dr. Elie Poulin. This collaborative work is the result of an alliance with the SEDNA Expeditions company based in France.
Nicolas Dubreuil, the co-founder of SEDNA Expeditions, highlights the importance of integrating scientific knowledge into Antarctic tourist experiences, with the aim of raising awareness of the contribution of polar research among passengers from all parts of the world: “it has been a great experience working with the BASE Millennium Institute and other groups of scientists, and I believe that today -more than ever- it is very important to bring science closer to people”.
Alex Ionescu, a world-recognized technology expert, innovator, and investor who was the promoter of the expedition, highlights the International Scientific Collaboration Expedition as a sign of joint work to protect Antarctic ecosystems: “I think it is very important to work together, listen to science and understand that our planet is the only one and that we must protect it”.
The scientific research team collected samples and data in the field and gave popular science talks to the expedition passengers. In addition, the communication team recorded 360° videos and sounds, to be used in the project “Antarctic Metaverse: a journey of exploration to discover the biodiversity of the Southern Ocean”, which will be carried out this year as a result of the award of the “Public Science Fund” of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge, and Innovation of the Government of Chile.
The “International Scientific Collaboration Expedition: the Weddell Sea and Larsen Ice Shelf” was composed of BASE Millennium Institute: Dr. Elie Poulin, Dr. Julieta Orlando, Dr. Léa Cabrol, Dr. Juliana Vianna, Dr. Claudio González-Wevar, Dr. Pablo Guerrero, Dr. Máximo Frangopulos, Fabiola León, Dr. Alejandro Pérez-Matus (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Millennium Nucleus of Ecology and Conservation of temperate mesophotic reed ecosystems, NUTME) and Nadia Politis. The team was also supported by Carla Badani (Universidad de Chile) and Diego Ramírez (patrimonioaccesible.cl).
Text: Nadia Politis | Photo: Julieta Orlando