Blog section

Time to pack!

27 July 2022

The experiment is now complete, and after taking our last measurements and samples, it is time to pack everything and go back to France. The next step will be to coordinate the transfer of the equipment to Villefranche-sur-mer.  
We’ll be going in September in Ny-Alesund for new adventures, so stay tuned! 

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

Nice weather in Sommarøy

19 July 2022

On a day off, we visited Sommaroy, a renowned tourist destination with it’s white sandy beaches and amazing landscape. We hiked all afternoon on Hillesøya, the westernmost island, and then stopped for ice cream at Mermaid Inn.

The view from Hillesøya © Anaïs Lebrun

Sommary is a historic fishing village about 30 kilometres west of the city of Troms. This village of 321 inhabitants expressed, in 2019, the wish to abolish the time. During the summer period in northern Norway, the sun does not set for 69 days. The midnight sun thus makes time useless according to the inhabitants of Sommarøy.

The village of Sommarøy © Anaïs Lebrun

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

So far so good!

15 July 2022

The experiment is underway, and it is going swimmingly! Each of our mesocosms contains three macroalgae species (Saccharina latissima, Laminaria digitata & Alaria esculenta), several fauna taxa (snails, urchins, and mussels), and coralline algae. 

We are testing 4 conditions:

  • a control condition: in-situ temperature
  • a high temperature condition: +1.8°C above ambient temperature
  • a long heat wave based on the high temperature: 7 days at +2.8°C above the in-situ temperature (i.e. +1°C above the high temperature condition).
  • a 2-short heat waves condition based on the high temperature: two 5-days heat waves rising up to +3.8°C above the in-situ temperature.

© Cale Miller

© Cale Miller

Like last year, we regularly take measurements of kelp photosynthesis activity during a 30-min incubation (see left picture foreground) and metabolism activity of the whole mesocosm during a 3-hour incubation.

We introduced Pulse-Amplitude-Modulation (PAM) measurements to follow the healthiness of the photosystem II (PSII), a protein evolved in the photosynthesis, during the experiment.

We’re already more than halfway through the experiment. It will last a total of 24 days. Let’s hope the weather will be not to rainy for the next days.

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

The experiment is launched!

6 July 2022

A lot has transpired in the last two weeks! With the assistance of Haakon Hop (NP), Steeve, Jean-Pierre, and Samir gathered kelp and associated fauna (snails, urchins, and mussels) around Tromsø.

Cale arrived last week, and we all worked together to get the experiment up and running, which included labeling the organisms, weighing and measuring them, building cages for the urchins, installing light filters on the top of the mesocosm, preparing our incubation chambers, and so on. We completed all of our preliminary measurements, and the experiment has officially begun. Here are some pictures, next article soon.

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

The team has grown in Tromsø

22 June 2022

Pierre & Fred finalised to set up the automatic system for our mesocosm experiment. It’s now time to fill our mesocosm with benthic organisms and that’s why Jean-Pierre, Samir, Steeve and I joined Fred this week Even if, for now, the weather is quite bad, we enjoy our mission to cooperate and cultivate & preserve relationships within the team. We hope to launch the experiment by the beginning of next week, stay tuned!

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

The ORCA team is in Ny-Ålesund!

Steeve, Cale, and Megan have spent the last month in Ny-Ålesund. It’s been a busy and exciting time as we start our in-situ kelp metabolism measurements. Our work this mission has consisted of the deployment and testing of our platform (KING COMET: Kelp In-situ Gradient Flux Community Metabolism, see picture below) at various sites here in Kongsfjorden. KING COMET allows us to measure the oxygen and pH and our goal is to determine the kelp community metabolism within and above the kelp canopy.

Authors: Megan Shipton & Cale Miller

New season, new field!

8 June 2022

Fred & Pierre arrived yesterday in Tromsø for our second field season. They are installing all the system for a second mesocosm experiment. It’s about electricity & tubing mainly. 

Fred & Pierre are already experiencing some setbacks with a wind that seems to want to screw up the set up. Yeah, the before picture is on the left.

© Fred Gazeau

© Fred Gazeau

Anyway, things are hopefully moving very fast. Steeve, Jean-Pierre, Samir & I will join Fred & Pierre in two weeks to fill the mesocosms and start the experiment. Stay tune ! 

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

End of the summer mission

9 september 2021

It is already the end of our mission in Ny-Ålesund. Samir has arrived to help us ending the experiment and packing everything. Our mesocosms are now empty and packed, ready for Porsanger for summer 2022.

After a final incubation at the individual and the community scales, we sampled every individual of macroalgae for chlorophyll a, C/N & carbohydrates content measurement and transcriptomic analysis.

We have also done a last sampling on the fjord, a particularly hectic trip to sea, we will remember!

© Samir Alliouane

© Samir Alliouane

The samples are now in Villefranche for part and on their way to Villefranche for the rest. The next few months will be spent processing the data and preparing for the next mission, we are already looking forward to it!

We would like to thank all the people who have helped us at one point or another during our mission, in particular our collaborators in the FACE-IT project (Kai, Simon, Inka, Luisa, Sarina), the AWIPEV team (Greg, Yohann & Fieke) as well as the team present at MarineLab (Marine & Svein-Harald).

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

Enjoying the Arctic!

23 August 2021

The mesocosm experiment and field monitoring are going well. We are almost at the end of our stay in the arctic. From time to time we take a few walks in this incredible environment. Recently, we went to Midtre Lovénbreen, a mountain glacier on the south coast of the fjord. We have also been to Bloomstrandbreen, a tidal glacier on the North coast of the fjord.

Midtre Lovénbreen © Cale Miller

Bloomstrandbreen © Cale Miller

We also had the chance to take advantage of a sunny day to take a short hike to OsianSars and its bird cliff, a site well known here due to the presence of many kittiwake nests. The point of view from the top of the cliff is just amazing.

View from OsianSars © Anaïs Lebrun

One of the engineer of the team, Samir, will arrive soon to help us turn off the experiment. Stay tuned!

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

Fauna associated with Arctic kelp species

3 August 2021

We were setup to sample a big haul of fauna associated with our three kelp species, but unfortunately the little critters were sparse….and it was difficult to capture enough individuals for our large mesocosms despite having an excellent AWI dive team.

© Cale Miller

© Cale Miller

The most abundant macrofauna were sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus pallidus) and brittle stars (Ophiopholis aculeata), but the biomass of brittle stars was not large enough for individual estimates of respiration, but our urchins were marked for growth, calcification and respiration.

© Cale Miller

© Cale Miller

Despite the lack of motile macrofauna, many sessile epiphytic critters remained on the fronds representing what would likely be found in natural environments.    

 small acorn barnacles ©Anaïs Lebrun

Small cnidarian ©Anaïs Lebrun

Wishing we had many more cryptonatica affinis (Gastropoda) to help us keep the walls of the tanks clean of Diatoms.

Author: Cale Miller

What measurements do we take in the mesocosms?

23 July 2021

The mesocosm experiment has now been running for over a week. We have already collected many samples of several types.

We are interested in the impact of the conditions tested on the whole community. Each mesocosm is composed of species of kelp, coralline algae, sea urchins, starfish, sea snail, barnacles, chitons.. etc. Once a week we incubate each mesocosm and follow the variations of oxygen during a certain amount of time. It gives us a good idea of the biological activity of the whole community (i.e. benthic fauna and flora) present in the mesocosm. Each incubation is preceded and followed by a measurement of pH, alkalinity and nutrient content of the water.

We also carry out this type of incubation on an individual scale with our 3 species of kelps : Saccharina latissima, Alaria esculenta and Laminaria digitata, and are in the process of testing it with coralline algae and sea urchins.

After each individual incubation the organism is weighed and photographed to assess its growth rate. 

At the end of this experiment the tissues of organisms will be taken to analyze their content in C/N, chla, carbohydrates & lipids. A transcriptomic analysis will also be performed on the kelps to determine how gene expression varies depending on the conditions tested and if so, how.

In parallel to this experience, we are also carrying out in situ monitoring in the fjord, which will be the subject of a future article. Stay tuned!

©Anaïs Lebrun

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

What is exactly at “Ny-Ålesund” ?

20 July 2021

Ny-Ålesund Research Station is located on the east coast of Spitsbergen along Kongsfjord. It is operated by Kings Bay AS, a private company fully owned by the Norwegian government. It is the world’s northernmost year-round research facility and provides unique access to a natural polar laboratory. It hosts about 30 people in winter and up to 120 in summer. It is accessible by small (14-seats) planes from Longyearbyen, the “capital city” of Svalbard.

This settlement has a long history. It was founded in 1917 by the Kings Bay Kull Company. Mining was carried out until 1929, stopped during WWII, then resumed to finally stop following a severe mining accident which killed 21 people in 1962. Between 1925 and 1928, four attempts were made to reach the North Pole by air from Ny-Ålesund. Roald Amundsen first and Umberto Nobile, second, performed the first successful expeditions to the North Pole.

After mining activity stopped, the town was slowly transformed into a research settlement. Twelve nations have research facilities at Ny-Ålesund. Most of the FACE-IT scientists are hosted at the French-German station AWIPEV and the Norwegian Sverdrup station. Outstanding facilities are available such as boats, several labs, including a marine laboratory with flowing seawater, high-speed Internet. There is a beautifully located canteen as well as a large range of leisure activities (gym, sauna, hiking etc…). Ny-Ålesund is therefore a very well equipped research station at only 1200 km from the North Pole. The only complaint often voiced by scientists is the high cost of transportation, accommodation, and bench fees. Of course, such high costs are partly explained by the cost of running a large-scale facility at 79°N.

Landing in winter ©Jean-Pierre Gattuso.

Turbid waters delivered by streams ©Erwan Amice.

The blue house, French-German Station AWIPEV ©Jean-Pierre Gattuso.

The Amundsen mast built in the 1920s for the airship expedition to the North Pole ©Jean-Pierre Gattuso.

Author: Jean-Pierre Gattuso

Mesocosm experiment is underway!

16 July 2021

The experiment is underway! All flora and fauna have been acclimated for 1 week in the mesocosms and we have begun to slowly increase the temperature, modify the salinity, and set the appropriate light filters to reach our final target conditions by Thursday 15th. Last week we performed our final time zero incubation of the mesocosms and individual kelp species.

We also took our time zero tissue samples to compare against the final state of individuals held in the mesocosms for the duration of the experiment.

We now have a set schedule for weekly sampling and maintenance.

© Cale Miller

© Cale Miller

Author: Cale Miller

Kelp species in the Arctic

12 July 2021

The Arctic rocky coastlines are dominated by kelps, large brown seaweeds species. They provide a food source, substrate, sheltered area and nursery for many species and are thus hot spots for marine biodiversity. 

Several species can be found in the Arctic fjords. In Kongsfjorden, species found are Saccharina latissima,  together with Alaria esculenta, Laminaria digitata, Hedophyllum nigripes and Saccorhiza dermatodea. A last species is Laminaria solidungula, the only truly endemic Arctic species, less abundant and occurs predominantly in the inner fjord. 

In our ARCTOS project, we focus on Saccharina latissima, Alaria esculenta and Hedophyllum nigripes. These three species have different characteristics which are detailed below. 

  • Saccharina latissima is biogeographically widespread. The species occurs from the high Arctic to the cold-temperate region of the North Atlantic. It dominates the fjord. The blade, never cut, is wavy at the edges and embossed on either side of a median line. Thanks to a high degree of polymorphism, acclimatation and genetic diversity across populations, Saccharina latissima should benefit from new conditions, especially from warming.


© Philippe Boissel

  • Alaria esculenta populates Arctic and cold temperate coastal ecosystems. The thallus of A. esculenta is characterized by an upright stipe and a long blade with a midrib. The morphology of lamina and stipe can vary widely between specimens due to wave exposure. Within the last decades, Alaria esculenta expanded its depth distribution in Kongsfjorden. As a result of warming, this species may rise.


  • Hedophyllum nigripes is morphologically very similar to cold-temperate Laminaria digitata. This is an Arctic to sub-Arctic kelp species with a cold-adapted temperature response pattern. Unlike the two previous species, warming should negatively affect this species.


Plate from the herbarium of the brothers Pierre-Louis and Hippolyte-Marie Crouan.

© Nick Hawkins /

For all this species, we are testing the impact of three combined factors: temperature, salinity and light (see previous article on mesocosm experiment)

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

Food at Ny-Ålesund research station

7 July 2021

Dinner is at weird times at Ny-Ålesund: 16:30, except on Saturday where it is at 18:30. Food is an important aspect of life here because many scientists work in the field for long hours in the cold and sometimes under extreme conditions. Calories intake is then important to sustain hard and long working days. Fresh vegetables and fruits became depleted and were replaced by frozen vegetables and dried plums. Last night a resupply ship docked at the harbour. It has been quickly unloaded this morning. There was food supplies among the containers delivered. So at lunch it was fresh vegies and fruits galore! Everyone appreciated eating bananas and oranges.

© Jean-Pierre Gattuso

© Jean-Pierre Gattuso

Author: Jean-Pierre Gattuso

In situ experiment

2 July 2021

On its eastern side, the Kongsfjorden is bordered by glaciers. When the glacier melts in spring and summer, gradients of salinity and turbidity can be observed along the fjord. Near glaciers the seasonality is therefore very marked.Furthermore, as we get closer to the glacier, pulse disturbance events like ice-scouring and high river runoff become even more important in intensity and frequency. The different environmental conditions along the fjord therefore suggest a change of communities along these gradients.

As part of our in situ experimentation component from the ARCTOS project, we focus on changes in benthic communities in response to environmental conditions. We therefore investigated and selected several sites along the fjord that are representative of these gradients.

We selected four sites – marked by the blue crosses – at which we deployed sensors of temperature, light and salinity as well as recruiting structures called ARMS (Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures) made up of 9 PVC plates on which the benthic photophile and sciaphile species could settle (see the article of June 21). Because of the inclement weather, one site deployment took us one day. It was a large task that we will repeat in a year to take back the sensors and the ARMS.

At these four sites, as well as the two sites represented by the red crosses, we sampled water for eDNA analysis, coupled with a drone survey. We had very beautiful images with the drone and that helped us a lot in choosing the sites. See below a video taken at Bird Cliff. The drone also helped a lot for the deployments.

We will now concentrate on the mesocosms experiment for the next two months. Stay tuned!

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

Populate the mesocosm

30 June 2021

Today marks a full week that I have been in Ny-Alesund. Getting brought up to speed with everything has been quite a challenge, but finally finding my feet. The rest of the team has done a great job setting everything up and Robert and I are now starting to populate the mesocosms with the kelp and fauna for the communities. In addition to continuing to sample our field sites for water chemistry, we have been busy weighing and tagging kelp. Our biggest coming in at 1.6 kg!

© Cale Miller


Today the divers brought the final kelp samples for the tanks. We have three different species: Alaria esculenta, Saccharina latissima, and Laminaria digitata. Unfortunately, the arctic species Laminaria solidungula is not abundant enough to sample so we are hoping to get Hedophyllum nigripes which is another arctic and subarctic species very similar in appearance to Laminaria digitata


Our final samples of fauna will be collected in the next couple days then it will be a push to mark, weigh and tag everything before the start of the experiment. We will be running test incubations on individuals starting tomorrow and staining snails with calcein in the coming days. We are already getting a good collection of cool critters.  


© Cale Miller

© Cale Miller

© Cale Miller

Author: Cale Miller

Enjoying the North Pole!

25 June 2021

While it was true that we worked a lot since we arrived here, as we need the experimental system to be ready when our colleagues arrive, still we had to take a day off!

Only pictures are following, no need for words here 😉

© Pierre Urrutti

© Frédéric Gazeau

© Pierre Urrutti

© Pierre Urrutti

Author: Frédéric Gazeau

Preparation for fieldwork

21 June 2021

It’s been five days that I am in Ny-Alesund and I didn’t have time to get bored! A big part of our time this week has been dedicated to finishing the set-up of the mesocosms and to prepare field work.

Our field work will consist into deploying sensors, recruitment structures (ARMs), drone surveys, CTD casts, and eDNA sampling. We therefore had to prepare all of those instruments, this included building the ARMs, testing the drone, calibrating the light logger, etc.

ARMs: These structures are made to study recruitment and will be deployed for one year in the fjord. © Steeve Comeau

© Steeve Comeau

© Steeve Comeau

Concrete blocks on which the ARMs and the salinity, temperature, and light loggers will be attached.  © Steeve Comeau

Before deploying the instruments, we had to prepare concrete blocks on which we will attach the sensors and ARMs. Being scientist is not always being behind a computer…

Due to very windy conditions, we didn’t go out in the fjord until today. It was very cold, still windy, but we were finally able to explore four sites with the drone (videos will be published very soon) and take CTD and light profiles. This is very promising for the next days as the four sites had very contrasted conditions, which is what we were looking for.   

Author: Steeve Comeau

Set-up of the experimental system

14 June 2021

After two weeks of intensive work since we arrived in Ny-Alesund, the experimental system is almost fully ready. As shown by Anaïs, the first job for us was to connect and install the mixing part of the system.

It consists of many tubings and automatic 3-way and 2-way valves that allow for the regulation of temperature (mixing of hot, cold and ambient seawater) and salinity (mixing of seawater with freshwater).

All these automatic valves as well as all the pressure and flow rate regulation units are connected to an automation board (made up of many cables and automates) that is directly connected to our computer.


The second part of our job was to make the outdoor platform of the Kings Bay Marine Laboratory ready to install the 12 tanks. There was a lot of snow before we arrived and, as you can see, there was a lot of snow to remove! We have been greatly helped by people from Kings Bay who warmed the platform with hot tubings and we kind of finished the job manually 🙂

© Frédéric Gazeau

© Frédéric Gazeau

Now the tanks are dressed for winter summer and we can start playing with the system and calibrating the sensors of temperature, salinity and oxygen deployed in each tank before the divers collect organisms for us next week.

Author: Frédéric Gazeau

Let the mission begin!

8 June 2021

It is now a little over a week since part of the team arrived at Ny-Ålesund and they have made impressive progress. After two days fixing the leakages, Frédéric and Pierre have successfully launched the system. Steeve is in quarantine in Oslo and will join them by next Monday, a help that should not be too much for sure! Everything should be ready in a few weeks. In parallel, in situ sampling and deployments will begin soon.

© Frédéric Gazeau

© Frédéric Gazeau

Pierre and Frédéric enjoy Ny-Ålesund and its changing weather. The town has a local cafe, souvenir shop and the northernmost post office on the planet, enough to send us some souvenirs!

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, mobile phones, and other wireless devices transmitting between 2.1 and 2.5 Ghz are not permitted within a 20-kilometer radius of Ny-Ålesund. It may interfere with measurements taken on-site. Fortunately, we can still communicate through ethernet.

The city also has the world’s northernmost railway, less than 1,000 kilometers from the North Pole. Ny-Ålesund was formerly a mining town (1920-1962). The coal deposits were formed by geological formations that date back to the last ice era. The train no longer runs today, but it is preserved in memory of the region’s mining legacy.

The post office © Guy Lebègue

The railway © Jerzy Strzelecki

Author: Anaïs Lebrun

Mesocosm experiment

4 June 2021

It’s finally time, Fred and Pierre are now in Ny-Ålesund to start to set-up the mesocosm experiment. This experiment was designed to test the effects of climate change on coastal marine benthic communities (the communities that live on the bottom of the seafloor). 

We are planning to study the combined effects of three environmental parameters: temperature, salinity, and light. Global warming is ongoing rapidly in the Arctic, where climate models project one of the largest increases of air and sea surface temperatures globally. This warming is expected to increase the melting of glaciers and permafrost which will increase the freshwater runoffs to the coastal areas. This will cause local decreases in salinity and light (more turbid water) that can have major effects on marine organisms.

We are planning to use four experimental treatments to study a range of conditions representatives of the present and future Arctic. We will use 1) a treatment representative of the ambient/present conditions in the fjord, 2) a treatment representative of the conditions expected in the fjord in 2100 under the climate scenario RCP4.5 (relatively optimistic climatic scenarios), 3) a treatment representative of the pessimistic scenario RCP8.5 conditions expected outside of the fjord (only temperature will be manipulated in this treatment) and, 4) a treatment representative of the conditions expected in the fjord under the extremely pessimistic scenario RCP8.5.


For this experiment we are planning to work on 7-m depth macro-algal dominated communities that are found in the Kongsfjorden. Organisms’ assemblage representative of this community will be recreated in 12 x 1 m3 mesocosms. The 12 mesocosms will be deployed on the outdoor platform of the marine lab to work with natural light conditions (light cycles, cloud cover, etc).  Light covers will be placed on the mesocosms to manipulate the conditions to reproduce the light intensity found at 7-m depth at present and under future climatic scenarios with more turbid waters. Temperature will be controlled dynamically by mixing ambient seawater and warmed seawater. Salinity will also be controlled dynamically by adding freshwater to the mesocosms. This system will match the seasonal variations of temperature and salinity with an offset corresponding to the different climatic scenarios tested in the mesocosms.

© wildestanimal photographer

Starting an experiment is very time consuming, for this reason the month of June is going to be dedicated 1) to setting-up and testing this new mesocosm system, 2) collecting the organisms (AWI divers), and 3) preparing the organisms (size measurements, trimming, photos, etc) before starting the experiment early July.

Author: Steeve Comeau

We arrived at Ny-Ålesund !

2 June 2021

OK, that was not easy with the 10-day quarantine in Oslo, but we finally made it to Ny-Ålesund!

What a fantastic trip! We left from Oslo, made a quick stop in Tromsø at the very North of mainland Norway and arrived in Longyearbyen where the snow was still here. The best part was still ahead of us with the 20-minute trip from Longyearbyen to Ny-Ålesund! Look at the plane 🙂

© Frédéric Gazeau

© Frédéric Gazeau

© Frédéric Gazeau

© Frédéric Gazeau

The arrival in Ny-Ålesund is definitely a must see, so much ice, snow, glaciers and icebergs. Incredible!

And the small settlement of Ny-Ålesund that appears in the middle of nowhere 🙂

The first evening on the base is all about logistics, safety rules and settlement in the room where we will sleep in the coming weeks. Very friendly people here, we already feel at home! Even the polar bear in the entrance of the main building is friendly!

But don’t think this is always the case… This is why Pierre and I trained last week in Oslo to be fit in case of a dangerous encounter 😉

© Unknown

But, as a bear can easily outrun us (even after a strong training as we did :-), the first activity we had on our first day was to take a gun shooting lesson. It is not safe and actually not allowed to go outside of the village without a gun, better knowing how to use it!

© Pierre Urrutti

Author: Frédéric Gazeau

Next step before Ny-Ålesund: Lockdown in Oslo

25 may 2021

Norway, here we come !

But of course, in these troubled times of COVID-19, travelling is not easy. With a few exceptions, all persons travelling to Norway must spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel.

© Pierre Urrutti

© Pierre Urrutti

© Pierre Urrutti

On our arrival at Oslo Airport, we were immediately handled by airport personnel to verify our papers (identity and Covid tests), get tested (again !) and taken to a nearby hotel for quarantine. The whole process took approximately 4 hours.

During the quarantine, rules are made so that you don’t meet anyone. 

Meals are taken directly to your door in a cardboard bag. Food is not bad but we can’t always tell what’s in the plate, and we sometimes are still hungry… 


© Pierre Urrutti

We are allowed to go out for 2 hours a day but we have to be careful to meet nobody (no store, no public transportation,…). Fred and I use that time to go for a run in the surroundings, into the woods near the airport.

Last but not least, the majority of our time is spent working on the project of course. We work on the final software developments to be fully ready when we arrive in Ny-Alesund. Can’t wait to get there !

© Pierre Urrutti

© Pierre Urrutti

Author: Pierre Urrutti

Packing our bags for the big departure

18 may 2021

It is time to prepare our luggages for a 3-month scientific mission in the far north. Part of the team is leaving France this week for a 10-days lockdown in Oslo and will begin the mission in early June. The rest of the team will follow in the next few weeks.

Although Ny-Ålesund is the most northerly city in the world, at over 78°N, it is not that cold there, especially in comparison to the temperatures that our Canadian friends know. Thanks to the gulf stream, temperatures are generally around -5 to 5°C in summer, polar day season.

© Harvey Barrison

© Harvey Barrison

However, we still need to bring warm clothes: jacket, fleece, underlayer, waterproof & lined shoes, thick socks, good gloves, head protection…etc. We will also pack sunscreen and sunglasses, enough to protect ourself from the sun and its UV radiations (UVR), particularly strong at these latitudes where ice, snow and water reflect the sun from every direction. Of course we will not forget to take some good French cheeses with us, enough to fill up after long days in the field.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Author: Anaïs Lebrun

Preparation of departure to Ny-Ålesund

11 may 2021

An expedition to one of the northernmost functional civilian settlements in the world requires some preparation. The team from the Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche has been preparing the shipment of all equipment that will be necessary since January 2021. This is always a bit stressful as it is very important not to forget anything, no tool stores or large supermarkets up there although we can always count on the friendly help from other researchers/technicians stationed in Ny-Ålesund.

      © Pierre Urrutti, LOV

    © Anaïs Lebrun, LOV

© Anaïs Lebrun, LOV

The “Institut polaire français Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV)” told us that they will ship a container that would arrive on May 16th in Ny-Ålesund. In order to be on time, we had to deliver our equipment to them in Brest (France) by April 12th. All our equipment was then packed in a truck on April 7th, together with equipment for another project that will also take place in Brittany (CocoriCO2).


After a long trip to Brest (14 hours driving), we delivered all our equipment at the IPEV facilities.

The IPEV container is now in Tromsö (Norway) and will be shipped to Longyearbyen on May 11th.                                                                 

  © Anaïs Lebrun, LOV

© Killian Poupon, IPEV 

Norbjørn AS | Marine Supply AS

Route of the Norbjørn AS cargo from Tromsö (Norway) to Longyearbyen (Svalbard)

Author : Frédéric Gazeau

The experiment is launched!

6 July 2022

A lot has transpired in the last two weeks! With the assistance of Haakon Hop (NP), Steeve, Jean-Pierre, and Samir gathered kelp and associated fauna (snails, urchins, and mussels) around Tromsø.

Cale arrived last week, and we all worked together to get the experiment up and running, which included labeling the organisms, weighing and measuring them, building cages for the urchins, installing light filters on the top of the mesocosm, preparing our incubation chambers, and so on. We completed all of our preliminary measurements, and the experiment has officially begun. Here are some pictures, next article soon.