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Posts published in “FS Sonne”

On the track of deep-sea sponges…

Hello dear SONNE friends!

Today's blog entry is about the work of Prof. Dr. Gert Wörheide.
The following report was written by Gert Wörheide. He is a professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich and one of the sponge experts here on board of the R/V SONNE.

Prof. Dr. Gert Wörheide is taking samples in the wet lab of the R/V SONNE

Tierische Freunde der SONNE

Hallo liebe Freunde der SONNE!

Es wird mal wieder Zeit, hier kommt nun ein weiteres Update über die Expedition SO254.

Ein Großteil der Forschungsfahrt ist geschafft – mittlerweile befinden wir uns wieder in nördlicheren Gewässern nahe der Ostküste von Neuseeland. Die Fahrt in Richtung 60°S an den Nordrand des Südpolarmeeres war begleitet von schlechtem Wetter und starkem Seegang, wir mussten sogar die Schutzklappen der Bullaugen unserer Kabinen und Labore verschließen. Wellen von bis zu über fünf Metern Höhe waren nicht unüblich und so wurde entschieden, nach zwei CTD-Stationen bei 50° und 52°S die Fahrt in Richtung Süden abzubrechen und nach Norden umzukehren.

Ein junger Wanderalbatros besucht die SONNE. Diese Art brütet auf subantarktischen Inseln und erreicht eine Flügelspannweite von über drei Metern (Foto von Klaus Peter Conrad)

Fascinating seafloor

Ahoy, dear SONNE friends!

Another day, another blog entry!
The following report was written by Marion Pohlner and Julius Degenhardt. The two scientists of the ICBM Oldenburg are from the research group Paleomicrobiology led by Prof. Dr. Heribert Cypionka.


We are Julius Degenhardt and Marion Pohlner and today, we provide some insight into our research aboard R/V SONNE. We are scientists based at the ICBM Oldenburg and our work focuses on the seafloor.

About microbiomes, public deep-sea viewing and breakfast…

Hello dear SONNE friends

It’s time again for a new blog entry! The following lines will provide an insight into the daily schedule of Kathrin Busch onboard R/V SONNE.

But first of all: Kathrin is a PhD student at GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel where she is working in the research unit ‘Marine Microbiology’ led by Prof. Dr. Ute Hentschel Humeida. The unit is partner of the EU-project SponGES, specifically focusing on deep-sea sponges of the North Atlantic. Here onboard the SONNE, marine biologist and deep-sea ecologist Kathrin is part of the sponge team led by Prof. Dr. Peter Schupp.

Kathrin Busch is taking the Niskin bottles (water samples) from ROV Kiel6000.

1,500 leagues above the sea…

It’s time again for a new blog entry about our expedition SO254.

Meanwhile, we finished station 11 out of 22 and are located at 41° 6,930‘ S and 179° 50,104 W. Since the start of the research cruise in Auckland on the 28.01.2017, we steamed already more than 1500 nautical miles, i.e., nearly 2,900 km! This distance is equivalent to driving the Bundesautobahn 7 three times from the very North all the way to southernmost Germany.

The SONNE is steaming on calm seas - and has alreay passed 1,500 nautical miles!

On zooplankton and small bacteria…

Hello dear SONNE friends, Today we are portraying Dr. Heike Freese and Franziska Klann from the Leibniz Institute DSMZ in Braunschweig. The two scientists are part of the collaborative Research Center  (SFB, Sonderforschungsbereich) “Roseobacter” and together they are the team “population genomics” on board.

Kia ora, dear SONNE friends!

For my colleagues and me there is an adventure ahead. Today (28.01.2017) at 17:00 NZ time our research cruise SO254 „PoriBacNewZ“ will start from Auckland into the subtropical and subantarctic waters of the Southwest Pacific before we return to Auckland (27.02.2017)! Originally, our departure was scheduled for the 26.1., but two out of the four Diesel engines were out of service due to a damage in the chiller system delaying our departure.

Research vessel SONNE in the harbour of Auckland

A salute to the crew of the Sonne

In the previous blog posts, we have commented on the excellent work of the crew of the research vessel Sonne. Today I would like to devote an entire blog post to the crew, and to thank them in the name of the entire scientific party for the great atmosphere on board, for the flawless execution of our scientific program, the patient, careful, and thoughtful support of our work, and for all of the countless aspects of life on board the Sonne that they have created and supported that have made our time here so productive and comfortable. A big thank you to every crew member of the Sonne!

Research on the invisible

An Bord des Forschungsschiffes SONNE: Abfüllen von Wasserproben an der CTD. Auf dem Bild: Jutta Niggemann. Foto: Beatriz Noriega Ortega (beide Forschungsgruppe für Marine Geochemie, ICBM)
Aboard the research vessel Sonne: Collection of water samples from the CTD. In the photo: Jutta Niggemann. Photo: Beatriz Noriega Ortega (both Research Group for Marine Geochemistry, ICBM).

The focal point of our research on board are bacteria in seawater and sediment. These bacteria are so small that they can only be seen under a microscope. But we are also interested in something that can’t even be seen with a microscope: dissolved compounds that are found in amazing variety in seawater. We want to understand where these compounds come from and how they are used by bacteria.

Bacteria – the smallest life forms in the ocean: How many are there?

Helge-Ansgar Giebel bedient das Durchflußzytometer, ein Gerät zur Bestimmung der Bakterienzellzahlen.
On board the Sonne: Helge-Ansgar Giebel works with the flow cytometer to count the number of bacterial cells in the water column.

The smallest forms of life in the ocean, bacteria, are the central focus of our research on board. Bacteria are single celled life forms; they are so small that we cannot see them without a microscope. Nevertheless, we want to know how many bacteria there are in the ocean; how are they counted?