Plankton

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As New Zealanders search for the summer sun, 38 researchers and crew will board RV Tangaroa tomorrow for a six-week science voyage deep into the waters of Antarctica.
NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa leaves soon on a six-week voyage to Antarctica, making it one of the few full scientific expeditions to the continent since the global outbreak of COVID-19.
After travelling almost 12,000km in the past six weeks, a group of scientists returns to Wellington at the weekend with new knowledge about life in the Ross Sea of Antarctica.
The world’s oceans are acidifying as a result of the carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by humanity.

Latest videos

Dive into the alien world of plankton in the Ross Sea

Plankton are the base of the oceans food web and are vital to our survival. But as our world changes will they be able to continue to play this essential role? Join us as we follow a group of NIWA scientists investigating various aspects of this question in the ocean around Antarctica.

Powering diversity in the Ross Sea

Fisheries scientist Dr Pablo Escobar-Flores delves into Antarctic mesopelagic science with a look at the small animals and organisms that help power the amazing diversity of life in the Ross Sea.

Ocean acidification - what is it?

The on-going rise of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is not only changing our climate—it is also changing our oceans. Take a look at the work of the NIWA-led CARIM project into what these changes may mean for the delicate balance of marine life.

NIWA Blake Ambassadors Vlog 3: its bongo time! TAN1810

NIWA Blake Ambassador—Lana Young—explains how bongo nets are deployed to collect plankton around the clock on board the RV Tangaroa. How do you analyse and classify plankton according to size then store them for a permanent record? [Video: Lana Young]

Dive into the alien world of plankton in the Ross Sea

Plankton are the base of the oceans food web and are vital to our survival. But as our world changes will they be able to continue to play this essential role? Join us as we follow a group of NIWA scientists investigating various aspects of this question in the ocean around Antarctica.

As New Zealanders search for the summer sun, 38 researchers and crew will board RV Tangaroa tomorrow for a six-week science voyage deep into the waters of Antarctica.
Tangaroa has sampled more clean seawater from a site not affected by the January 15th eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (HT-HH).
Powering diversity in the Ross Sea

Fisheries scientist Dr Pablo Escobar-Flores delves into Antarctic mesopelagic science with a look at the small animals and organisms that help power the amazing diversity of life in the Ross Sea.

It is interesting to watch all of the pieces of our science story come together with each day’s water sampling and our long term experiments.
NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa leaves soon on a six-week voyage to Antarctica, making it one of the few full scientific expeditions to the continent since the global outbreak of COVID-19.
RV Tangaroa undertook a 45-day voyage to the Southern Ocean and Ross Sea in January-February, 2021.
Heading to the Campbell Plateau south of New Zealand, 25 scientists and crew onboard R.V. Tangaroa will carry out a deep sea camera survey of the seabed to better understand the biodiversity of seabed habitats in commercial fishing areas.
Ocean acidification - what is it?

The on-going rise of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is not only changing our climate—it is also changing our oceans. Take a look at the work of the NIWA-led CARIM project into what these changes may mean for the delicate balance of marine life.

After travelling almost 12,000km in the past six weeks, a group of scientists returns to Wellington at the weekend with new knowledge about life in the Ross Sea of Antarctica.
Phytoplankton: tiny cells with a big job
During the voyage, we collected planktonic protist cells for which DNA will be sequenced for taxonomic identification, but also to understand their physiology through the daily diurnal vertical migration (diel) cycle.
NIWA Blake Ambassadors Vlog 3: its bongo time! TAN1810

NIWA Blake Ambassador—Lana Young—explains how bongo nets are deployed to collect plankton around the clock on board the RV Tangaroa. How do you analyse and classify plankton according to size then store them for a permanent record? [Video: Lana Young]

NIWA Blake Ambassadors Vlog 3: Fishing for water!

7 November 2018. In this Vlog 2 update live from Tangaroa, NIWA Blake Ambassador Siobhan O’Connor shares a typical shift, starting at 2.30am, collecting water samples from different ocean depths which are carefully analysed in the lab. 

Timelapse from RV Tangaroa cutaway 12 hours

27 October 2018. A 12 hour time lapse from the cutaway deck on the RV Tangaroa.

To make sure that we are using our time on the ship as efficiently as possible, we have two shifts of scientists and crew working around the clock, either midnight-midday or midday-midnight. This often means that there are some members of the team who you barely cross paths with!

We are currently sampling a water mass where salps are present, which means that we are using a variety of nets to sample at different depths, and for different sized organisms. We are also collecting other environmental parameters with a CTD, which measures the salinity, temperature and depth of the water, and also allows us to collect small pockets of water from a range of depths.

NIWA Blake Ambassadors vlog1

26 October 2018. NIWA Blake Ambassadors, Lana Young and Siobhan O'Connor and SalpPOOP voyage leader Dr Moira Decima check out sampled salps from different depths.

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All staff working on this subject

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Marine Biogeochemistry Technician
Principal Scientist - Marine Geology
Marine Phytoplankton Ecologist
Algal Ecologist
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