Glaciers are melting in the Arctic. On their surface, cryoconite is found containing microbial life such as bacteria and algae. These microorganisms build the basis of the food chain and are drivers of biogeochemical cycles. In a melting world, it is therefore important to capture how they change over time and during the seasons. Two student courses study microorganisms on Foxfonna glacier, during summer (Arctic microbiology course AB-327/827), and winter (Arctic winter ecology AB-329/829).
By combining these two courses and sampling the same site in summer and winter, we aim to build a database on seasonal and yearly changes of microbial life. Students will gain a deeper insight in processes involved.
In this project, we established a site on Foxfonna glacier where cryoconite is sampled in winter and summer.
The project started in 2019 and is expected to continue in the future.
Arwyn Edwards (Aberystwyth University)