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Reconstructing sea ice history with Polarella

Last week, our colleagues Sara Hardardottir (HAFRO, Iceland) and Sofia Ribeiro (GEUS, Denmark) published a new study on using ancient DNA of a specific sea ice algae to reconstruct past climate change in the Arctic. A few years ago, Sara and Sofia came to our lab in Bergen to further develop this DNA-based method that detects the sea ice dinoflagellate Polarella glacialis (see pictures) in marine sediments. We hinted in… Read More »Reconstructing sea ice history with Polarella


Over the summer, an AGENSI publication was published by Kristine Steinsland et al. in Quaternary Science Reviews. The study investigates variations in sea ice in the northern North Atlantic throughout the last interglacial. You can read the article via this link.

AGENSI is also at the 2nd GoNorth expedition

The 2nd GoNorth expedition has just come to an end. We had Katja Häkli representing AGENSI on board RV Kronprins Harken for this expedition to the Gakkel Ridge and Lucky Ridge. Here she is collecting mud from the box corer (Foto: Daniel Albert GoNorth/SINTEF). The trip was eventful: early on the ship needed to return to the mainland for repairs, and later the sea ice was too heavy for the… Read More »AGENSI is also at the 2nd GoNorth expedition

Cruise movie (Summer 2021)

It has taken a bit of time, but we finally brought together our impressions and movie clips from last year’s Arctic Paleoceanography cruise with the research vessel Kronprins Haakon to the Arctic Ocean. In late June 2021, we set sail from Longyearbyen to collect surface sediments, long sediment archives, water and plankton samples. We sailed to the Arctic Ocean, north of Svalbard. The ocean is covered there with seasonal sea… Read More »Cruise movie (Summer 2021)

Arctic Paleoceanography Cruise (KH21-234) Report

The report from the Arctic Paleoceanography Cruise which took place from 30 June to 11 July 2021 is now available. The entire AGENSI team was onboard the research vessel Kronprins Haakon in the Arctic Ocean to collect water and sediment samples. Download the report here.

New publication in Science Advances on ocean eukaryotic biodiversity

Read in the latest edition of Science Advances about Tristan Cordier’s work on ocean eukaryotic biodiversity. Together with his international collaborators, he analysed almost 1700 samples and assembled two billion DNA sequences from the surface ocean, the meso/bathypelagic zone and the sea floor. They were able to separate benthic from planktonic organisms and showed that benthic biodiversity is much greater than in the water column above. Tristan is currently a… Read More »New publication in Science Advances on ocean eukaryotic biodiversity

Bjerknes Centre podcast on ancient DNA and sea ice

Our team member Danielle Grant talks about ancient DNA under the Arctic sea ice in this Bjerknes Centre podcast. Danielle, a PhD student in the AGENSI project, investigates fossil DNA in ocean sediments to understanding past variability of sea ice in the Arctic. Listen to her experience with recovering sediments from RV Kronprins Haakon, working in a super clean lab during a pandemic, and her PhD research. The Bjerknes Centre… Read More »Bjerknes Centre podcast on ancient DNA and sea ice

on plane

Travel in covid-19 times

So, there you are as a first time cruise leader. On a plane, descending into Longyearbyen while overlooking the fjords and snowy mountains. Praying for the second time in one day. After several weeks of intense preparation, we left Bergen on 28 June and travelled to Svalbard. In covid-19 times, the trip is challenging. This time it meant getting up very early, to be on time for getting our noses… Read More »Travel in covid-19 times

Packing for an Arctic expedition in summer

In less than a month from now, the AGENSI team will be back in the Arctic. The plan is to collect new sediment and water samples from the Arctic Ocean. We will be onboard R/V Kronprins Haakon between 30 June and 11 July. Last week, we were packing our equipment. We filled 19 boxes with equipment, safety gear, warm suits to wear on deck, pumps to filter water, a multi-… Read More »Packing for an Arctic expedition in summer