Collaborative Research: Biological Adaptations to Environmental Change in Antarctica - An Advanced Training Program for Early Career Scientists
This project will support two training courses that will introduce early-career scientists from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds to key issues in polar science, and especially to provide the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in Antarctic field activities. Antarctica is an ideal location to study a wide variety of questions in biology. However, few students and early-career scientists have the opportunity to work on-site in Antarctica unless they are directly associated with a senior scientist who has a funded Antarctic project. The project will further the NSF goal of training new generations of scientists by providing hands-on training in Antarctica during one course at Palmer Station in 2016 and another at McMurdo Station in 2018. This represents a continuation of nine previous courses at McMurdo Station which have a proven record of introducing participants to Antarctic science under realistic field conditions, providing opportunities to understand and appreciate the complexities and logistical challenges of undertaking science in Antarctica, enhancing the professional careers of the participants, and increasing international collaborations for early-career scientists.
The proposed training courses will be open to Ph.D. students and post-doctoral scientists who have interests in the study of Antarctic marine organisms to help prepare them for success in developing their own independent research programs in polar regions. Long-standing and recent questions in evolution and ecology of Antarctic organisms will be examined with 1) field collections, 2) physiological experiments on whole organisms, 3) studies of isolated cells and tissues, 4) experiments on macromolecular processes (e.g., enzymes), and 5) molecular biological analyses.
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