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Axinja Stark

anxjaMy role in EPOCA arctic

I will investigate the impact of ocean acidification and associated temperature rise on the high latitude bivalve Serripes groenlandicus (study 4) together with Hans-Otto Pörtner, Sandra Treydte, Timo Hirse and Zora Zittier. The overall objective of our project is to develop a mechanistic understanding of the physiological response. Therefore we will elaborate the capacity of acid base regulation, ion regulation, metabolism and biomineralization in more detail.

My thoughts on the trip

It will be my first trip to the Arctic, as well as to Svalbard. The landscape looks very unique on pictures and I am curious how it will feel to stand in front of these glaciers and look over the fjord in person. I am looking forward to get together with people from the other institutes. I am happy to get the possibility to exchange new ideas and to get helpful suggestions from an international team.

More about my research

I am a PhD student of the research group Integrative Ecophysiology at the AWI. My topic is the synergistic impact of CO2 and temperature on physiology and biomineralisation in marine bivalves, which might be a key to understand past, present and future climate records of polar ecosystems. Beside the physiological responses in S. groenlandicus I will also examine the shells in more detail after our expedition. In general shells reflect changing environmental conditions experienced during their lifetime. It is expected that if the relation between skeleton parameters and underlying environmental parameters is known, the skeleton parameter will serve as proxy of the environmental parameter and hence as indicator on past and present time scales. Bivalve shells are already used to reconstruct past climate data. I will investigate if the shells can serve as multi-proxy, high resolution and highly sensitive monitors of climate change.

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