Six years into the ice — and beyond

The Arctic’s once impenetrable ice cap is melting away, with profound consequences for everything from ocean circulation patterns to fish numbers and diversity. The Nansen Legacy Project, including NTNU biologists, chemists and engineers, is working to better understand what these changes mean for the Barents Sea and the Arctic Basin.

The microscopic marine world is full of predators, a world where who eats what can make a difference to how an entire ecosystem is structured. That’s especially important in the Arctic, where the melting ice cover can affect the microorganisms that shelter in and around the ice.

NTNU biologists Nicole Aberle-Malzahn and Angela Stippkugel are among the researchers who are now working on a long-term project trapping tiny arctic organisms and trying to figure out what they eat and what eats them.

Aboard the RV Kronprins Haakon, Norway’s brand-new icebreaker, they’ve voyaged into the increasingly ice-free north to catch their prey as part of the Nansen Legacy Project, a six-year, multi-disciplinary, multi-organizational effort led by the UiT—The Arctic University of Norway, and nine other research institutes including NTNU.

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