2006 — Antarctica! Seascapes and Science on the Ice
September – December
So what makes for a great learning experience?
In the summer of 1991, I began my studies on the most superb of all zooplankton, the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba). These shrimp-like crustaceans are food for the multitudes of birds, seals, and whales that inhabit the icy Southern Ocean.
But what do the krill eat? That is the focus of my research. You can find the science in the papers I have written, but my actual experience of Antarctica is best viewed in these photos. I took them during the nearly thirty months I spent on the Antarctic Peninsula, both at Palmer Station and on a Norwegian Research Vessel, the Polar Duke,
over the course of seven years.
Karen Haberman, Ph.D.
Scenes of Antarctica
Exhibit Pictures Copyrighted by
Critters of Antarctica
Both of these seal species have specially-adapted teeth to strain krill from the water. However, the leopard seal often eats higher on the food chain,
and the crabeater seal could be his next meal.
Searching for Krill
Dr. Ray Smith and his student lower the Bio-Optical Monitoring System (BOPS)
off the stern of the Polar Duke. This system measures salinity, temperature and chlorophyll fluorescence along a vertical profile, and also collects water samples.
Divers use aquarium nets to scoop juvenile krill from beneath the ice.
The young krill feed on ice algae during the austral winter and spring.
We also collected krill dragging a net behind us in the trawl boat.