The POLARISATION team has been working hard these last couple of months to plan and prepare the first round of experimental work: in total 3 experiments over a period of 4 months will be carried out both at the KingsBay Marin Lab in Ny-Ålesund and at the Biological station Kårvika of the University of Tromsø. The POLARISATION team including the newly employed PhD student and post doc will try to decipher the way oil contaminants enter polar cod through the diet and affect crucial lipid related processes. In a warming Arctic, with anthropogenic activities moving further north and the risk of oil spills constantly increasing, it is both important and exiting to find out how oil compounds change major lipid related processes such as storage of energy, growth, and reproduction.
Ireen Vieweg (PhD student) is preparing for the first experiment in Ny-Ålesund and will soon be assisted by Dr Jordan Nechev (Post doc) in a long and challenging experiment to study the molecular and cellular effects of oil contaminated food. About 500 polar cod will indeed be taken care of over a 3 months period and fed individually. On RV Helmer Hanssen, Dr J. Nahrgang (PI) is presently sampling as many fish as possible and will return to Ny-Ålesund in less than a week. A main challenge will also be to return a stock of live fish to the Biological station of the University of Tromsø (Kårvika) to carry out a new set of experiments focusing on uptake and tissue distribution of oil contaminants and the formation of toxic metabolites.