Microscopic algae known as phytoplankton are photoautotrophic organisms. That is to say that like higher plants, they use minerals (C02, P, N …) and energy from the sun to grow and multiply. As the base of the marine food chain, they are also the base of organic matter production and the sequestration of atmospheric C02. Because of this, understanding the processes controlling their biomass and degradation is a major challenge for scientists.
During the Green Edge cruise aboard the Canadian ice-breaker, much of our work is to keep phytoplankton alive out of their natural environment. We also aim to isolate them to get clonal cultures.