Presentation on theme: "The race to find life under ice: Exploring Subglacial Lake Ellsworth Dr John Woodward Professor M. Siegert, Dr A. Smith, Dr H. Corr,"— Presentation transcript:
The race to find life under ice: Exploring Subglacial Lake Ellsworth Dr John Woodward Professor M. Siegert, Dr A. Smith, Dr H. Corr, Dr R. Hindmarsh.
Discrete bodies of water that lie at the base of an ice sheet between the ice and the substrate. What are subglacial lakes? (Siegert, 2000)
Understand the origins of subglacial lakes and their impact on the dynamics of ice sheets. Recover climatic information contained in ice overlying the lakes and sediment underlying lakes. Determine the form, distribution, and activity of life in the lake water, the sediment below, and the ice above. SALE aims:
We really dont know whats down there. (Siegert, 2004) If there is life – and there is life everywhere else on earth where there is water - it might be very different from life on the rest of the planet. (Priscu, 2004) What might be living in the lakes?
Microscopic images of bacteria found in refrozen ice at the bottom of the Vostok core. (Karl, et al. 1999) What might be living in the lakes?
Subglacial Lake Ellsworth: a candidate for in situ exploration in West Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters (2004).
1.Primary target is Lake Ellsworth. 2.Carry out the first full characterisation of a subglacial lake using geophysical techniques. 3.Access a small subglacial lake in West Antarctica. 4.Access an isolated system in East Antarctica - Lake Concordia. 5.Access Lake Vostok. SALE outline for subglacial lake access
NERC grant ~ £533,000 First comprehensive characterisation of a lake system. Full season of IPR, GPR, seismics and surface measurements, Short season of surface measurements, Access 2012? Lake Ellsworth geophysical project
Members of the Lake Ellsworth Consortium International collaborators
Issues facing new researchers Requested to make brief comments Comments reflect personal views Biased towards requirements for scientists Should not be seen as a whinge list
Initial support? Recruitment practices RAE group or isolation? Specialist teaching or general contribution? PCAP / PCAPL Ever increasing administration Line management
Rewarding performance Time for research Small sums for conferences, networking and page charges Small research grants PhD studentships Sabbaticals Promotion / retention