by Christophe Le Gall |
Who are you ?
Lars : I’m a scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). I’m a biologist, working for the AWI since 15 years.
Claudia : I’m technical assistant, working for the AWI since 14 years.
Can you describe us your job ?
We are both working about ecological questions. We are doing a lot of experimental works and observations in laboratories and in the field.
Lars : Generally, I’m looking at the effects of human activities, which impact our environment and ecosystems. The environmental changes I am addressing can, for example, be related to global climate change, which affect seawater temperatures and chemistry.
Claudia. I assist Lars in his work, for example, in logistic tasks like preparing this expedition. Additionally, I worked for 10 years as a scientific diver.
Why did you choose this job ?
Lars : I was always curios about biology, species and biodiversity. I want to understand the biological process and factors that shape the interaction between species.
Claudia : I was always interested in chemistry, biology, and oceans. When I was younger, I watched the TV show of the Cousteau team, and so I studied biology and became a biologist.
What will be your tasks during the cruise ?
We are quantifying ANY floating object at the sea surface, which are mainly seaweeds and any kind of plastic debris such as nets, ropes and plastic bags. These items are classified as “marine litter”, e.g. any solid material abandoned or disposed of, intentionally or accidentally in the marine environment. We are surveying the sea surface from the moving ship, along transects of approx. 10 meters width. We are watching at intervals of 1 hour, which results in a transect length of 18-20 kilometres. We record the position and the size of each floating object, as well as any additional information like colour, shape, and type of object.
What do you like (most) in your work ?
Lars : Getting answers! First, there is observations, that leads you to questions. Then you are developing a strategy to get your answer. When you finally get your answer – that’s great!
Claudia : To work outside, on the nature, with nice colleagues.