I am a master student doing my internship on the Medsea mesocosms experiment under the supervision of Maria Luiza Pedrotti. I will study the potential impact of acidification on production and aggregation of Transparent Exopolymeric Particules (TEP). I will measure evolution of different size classes of TEP by spectrophotometry and image analysis. It has already been shown in laboratory that acidification impact on TEP size distribution. My objective is to determine if the same result is found in situ with this mesocosm experiment. TEP are naturally rich in carbon, poor in nitrogen, and represent a fraction of the particulate organic matter. So, a relative increase of TEP can induce a shift in POC:PON ratios during phytoplankton blooms. That is why we are interested in estimating the amount of TEP in different pCO2 conditions.
My thoughts on the trip
I am very excited to participate on this experiment because it is the first time I play a role in a European mesocosm project like MedSea. That is a great opportunity for me to apply my knowledge while learning new sampling techniques.