• antarctica,  Argentina,  South America

    A few days in Buenos Aires

    I am a high school science teacher for 8 years now, but before my career in education I used to work as a marine biologist, doing research for the Marine Biology Section of Ghent University in Belgium. After my PhD about coral reefs, I started working for a small Belgian project dealing with Antarctic marine biodiversity, called BIANZO. I was studying microscopic, benthic (= sea-bottom) nematodes (roundworms) and their quick response on changes in our climate and their polar environment. In order to take the necessary samples for my research, I first joined a large number of fellow scientists on a 3-month sampling campaign on the German RV Polarstern, between November 2006 and Februari…

  • antarctica,  Chile,  South America

    Antarctica (7): Recovering in Chile.

    In November 2006, I left Cape Town in South Africa and went on board of the Research Vessel Polarstern. This was the moment I departed on an incredible journey to the Antarctic, which brought me face to face with emperor penguins and took me to open waters that had been ice-covered for thousands of years until 2002. As a marine biologist, it was my duty to take samples of the Antarctic sea floor and its inhabitants, which was hard work but very rewarding as well. Truly a unique opportunity, and one I will never forget. But finally, sampling activities came to an end and we set sail again towards civilization. We did not…