#ConversesAntàrtiques : La ciencia polar a debate

El pasado viernes 28 de septiembre, se celebró la “Noche Europea de los Investigadores” en Barcelona. Siendo esta la primera vez que la ciudad condal acogía dicha iniciativa europea que tiene como objetivo “acercar los investigadores a los ciudadanos para que conozcan su trabajo, los beneficios que aportan a la sociedad y su repercusión en la vida cotidiana.”

Con motivo de la “Nit Europea de la Recerca”, desde el Institut de Ciències del Mar de Barcelona (ICM-CSIC), organizamos una serie de actividades en distintos lugares de Barcelona. Una de ellas fue la que tuve el placer de organizar y moderar: “Converses Antàrtiques“, que tuvo lugar en Vil·la Urània. En ella, debatimos y conversamos durante una hora y media acerca de la ciencia que se hace desde el “Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)”.

Los participantes fueron: Pau Cortés (Investigadora Predoctoral), Josep Maria Gili (Profesor de Investigación en el ICM-CSIC), Isabel Ferrera (Científica Titular del Instituto Español de Oceanogría – Málaga) y Jordi Felipe (Unidad de Tecnología Marina – CSIC, Director de la Base Antártica Juan Carlos I).

El formato de la actividad consisitió en un debate en el que los cuatro participantes respondieron a preguntas lanzadas desde el público y a otras que previamente fueron preguntadas en Twitter (unas 80-90 personas respondieron cada encuesta). La índole de las mismas fue de lo más varipinta, abarcando desde las dificultades técnicas hasta el “sufrimiento” culinario al que a veces se ve uno sometido en la Antártida:

¿En qué época del año se se realizan las campañas antárticas?

¿Cuánto crees que dura una campaña de investigación antártica?

¿Dónde creéis que se hace la mayor parte de ciencia antártica?

¿Quién compone los equipos de investigación que hacen ciencia en la Antártida?

¿Es posible utilizar las redes sociales desde la Antártida?

¿Quién compone los equipos de investigación que hacen ciencia en la Antártida?

¿Es posible utilizar las redes sociales desde la Antártida?

¿Qué se come en la Antártida?

Navegando en un buque por la Antártida, ¿con cuántos metros de ola no se puede cocinar?

En una campaña en buque en la Antártida ¿se marea alguien o todos son inmunes?

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Aquí podéis consultar la respuesta a todas las preguntas que dió la gente a través de Twitter. Cuanto menos son “curiosas”.

Alrededor de 40 personas nos acompañaron durante las #ConversesAntàrtiques quienes, a juzgar por sus sonrisas y comentarios posteriores, parece que disfrutaron a la par que aprendieron la labor que hacen los/as profesionales del CSIC cada invierno (verano austral) en el gran continente helado.

Pablo Rodríguez Ros

Barcelona, 4 de octubre de 2018

NOSASSO International Workshop 2018

From September 4th to 6th the I attended, together with other SORPASSO Project (Dr. Rafel Simo, ICM/CSIC, PI) members from the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition-ACE Project), to the NOSASSO International Workshop in the National Marine Aquarium (Plymouth, UK). It was funded by NERC and organized by Dr. Ruth Airs from the research institution “Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)”.


Here you have more information about the project in the official web page:

NOSASSO: N-OSmolytes Across the Surface Southern Ocean: Environmental Drivers and Bioinformatics

Nitrogen-containing compounds, including glycine betaine (GBT), choline and trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) are ubiquitous in marine organisms. They are used by marine organisms as compatible solutes in response to changes in environmental conditions, such as increasing salinity, because they do not interfere with cell metabolism. They also have beneficial effects in protecting proteins against denaturation due to chemical or physical damage.

In the marine environment, these compounds are frequently released from these organisms directly into seawater due to changing environmental conditions, such as by viral lysis or grazing. The released nitrogenous osmolytes serve as important nutrients for marine microorganisms, which can use them as carbon, nitrogen and energy sources. It is well known that the degradation of these nitrogenous osmolytes contribute to the release of climate-active gases, including volatile methylamines. Methylamines are important sources of aerosols in the marine atmosphere, which help to reflect sunlight and cause a cooling effect on the climate. Our NERC-funded research is starting to understand the microbial metabolism of these compounds and their seasonal cycles in the coastal surface seawater, but our understanding across the world’s oceans is limited.

Of particular importance to the Earth’s climate is the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean is an important player in the Earth climate system, and is an ideal region to study ocean-atmosphere connections because of its isolation from continental emissions and the strong circumpolar atmospheric circulation, rendering its air pristine. Opportunities to study the Southern Ocean are rare however, and it remains under sampled even for the most routine measurements compared to the rest of the World’s oceans. We have a unique opportunity within the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) to make measurements and collect samples around the entire Southern Ocean, and near Antarctica. Twenty one other international projects will also be conducting research from the same expedition, and six of these projects have excellent links to our research. Unfortunately, there are no plans for after the expedition for the projects to collaborate and integrate data, which is a real missed opportunity. This proposal aims to develop a new international network with six ACE projects and use post-cruise activities to exploit data and knowledge generated to capitalise on our NERC-funded research on nitrogenous osmolytes and to increase its international breadth.


From July 23rd to August 4th (2018), I attended to the 7th SOLAS Summer School in Cargèse, Corsica, France.

I am really honored to have been selected to be part of this great summer school. PhD candidates (also PostDoc scientists, and Master students) from all over the world met in this beautiful and wild mediterranean island to discuss about marine and atmospheric sciences in of the most outstanding summer schools on this topics.

We had the chance of to not only discuss marine/atmospheric sciences, but also law, policy, politics, communication, social media tools, etc. From ships emissions to marine law and policy, or from CO2 fluxes (What the flux!) to clouds in the desserts; SOLAS Summer School has covered a huge amount of knowledge under an outstanding scientific atmosphere!

I am confident all the participants brought with us an amazing set of clever inputs, new skills, science “tricks”, and experiences that will help us in our early career as scientists! Actually, we, the new generation of marine and atmospheric scientists, will have (unfortunately) a lot of work; since we are starting to feel the worrying effects of climate change. We are approaching to some of the Earth’s tipping points, and now, more than ever, we all need to provide knowledge and solutions to addres the main challenge of humankind along this century: climate change. Which, btw, it is hapenning, it is real and has not been made up by “NASA”.

Here you have some pictures !

Presenting some results of my PhD!

Landscapes of Cargèse and Tour d’Omigna.

Poster session (and “after poster” session)

SOLAS’ fauna!

Group picture

A better description of 7th SOLAS Summer School is provided by the official web page: “The SOLAS Summer School is a biennial, international event that brings together over 70 students and 15 world-leading international scientists, in a variety of fields, for a combination of lectures and practical workshops. It aims to teach the skills and knowledge of the many disciplines needed to understand the nature of ocean-atmosphere interactions and how to link ocean-atmosphere interactions with climate and people. It allows doctoral students and early-career researchers to see how their work fits into the broad canvas of SOLAS, and global change research more generally”.


Pablo Rodríguez Ros

Corsica, France