Brief description and intermediate results

Scientists collecting the water samples after the rosette spent a few hours in the ocean.

Incubation and mesoscale enrichment experiments demonstrate that iron is a key micronutrient limiting the growth of phytoplankton in Southern Ocean waters and through this influence the Southern Ocean’s role in mediating atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is the bioavailable iron pool that shapes phytoplankton communities and growth in iron-limited regions.

In austral summer 2016-2017 13 scientists from 3 continents joined project 15 to sample the Southern Ocean. The focus was on

Various species of phytoplakton.

collecting samples surface and deep ocean samples, to understand the chemistry and cycling of iron in the Southern Ocean. On the three-leg voyage, we could collect water samples from 22 stations as the ship circumnavigated between South Africa, Australia, Chile, and South Africa. The samples are currently distributed across a number of universities and are being analysed. The final results for the voyage will available in early 2018.



Michael Ellwood

Research School of Earth Sciences Australian National University, Australia


Linking marine primary production to the cycling of dissolved organic compounds and trace elements in Southern Ocean waters.


  • University of Bern (Switzerland)
  • University of Geneva (Switzerland)
  • ETH (Switzerland)
  • University of Canberra (Australia)
  • CNRS (France)
  • University of Otago (New Zealand)
  • University of British Columbia (Canada)
  • AWI (Germany)