Mesocosms in the media

Two new videos have been added in the Media page of the blog, where you can find all the articles we found in the media related to the experiment.

The two videos have been realised by France 3 Corse, the local anten of the national french chanel.

France 3-national french chanel- video 1

What do we do when you are not here?…n°2

Most of you after the experiment went directly on holidays in Corsica, or with your family. So, when your boxes have left Stareso (and Villefranche) , all major common material (centrifuge, fridges, mesocosms structure….) is back to its place in Villefranche, we (LOV team)…. go in holidays also!! This is why this blog will be idle for a moment.

There will have other post about the first scientific workshop, when the next mesocosm experiment will be anounced (yes, there will have another one….) and when anything worth to be published!!
The administrative responsibles, scientists, student and cooks from Stareso are really sad that the MedSeA team isn’t there anymore. They send us nice email to thank us because we leave the labs very clean but they also announced us that Maki died few days after our departure…

This is the end for the moment. See you soon for more informations!

More of the end… disassembling the mesocosms (by Angela)

It’s been a week since the mesocosms were dismantled, each time three of them were pulled out of the sea and “attaked” by the Villefranche group. To see and help on this gave the opportunity to understand the magnitude of the logistic behind.

View from Stareso when the mesocosms were still there 🙁

The engineers that concived the structure were at the harbour helping and taking care that everything was stored and treated properly for the next experiments. Every single tube had to be washed, packed and stored; ropes and buoys cleaned and with out air, plastics folded and packed for recycling. The divers had long days taking the things out of the water and the rest of the team with the afterwards. Some people took a bath inside the mesocosms while cutting the ropes, I am sure most of us wanted to do that. Now everything is packed and ready to use for the next experiment. Así que: buen viento y buena mar!

Villefranche Sur Mer (by Walter)

All right. The LOV team has completed its task of cleaning the Stareso harbor, disassembling the mesocosms and make clear the laboratories. Home sweet home!
But I will miss Stareso, Corsica and this mission for MedSeA Project ..
I will miss the sunrises and sunsets, spectacular landscapes, the madness with colleagues, Winkler party (!) and not just that, all works by night, the alarm set at 3.30 am for the process sampling, the different cultures and shared knowledges.

Alba nei pressi di Stareso (sunrise near Stareso)

It was a wonderful experience for me (super!), where fatigue has begun to be felt at about half the work but not prevented us from achieving our set goals. Everything has been completed, almost everything went smoothly and I’m very happy.
Now we just have to work on the data obtained, as far as I’m concerned about the analysis of O2 and make some considerations .. but I am compelled to share the office of the Laboratory of Villefranche with this researcher …

Samir at home…

and after all..

I hope to see you all together soon!!

What do we do when you are not here ??… n°1

Since Saturday you must all think: but can they do when all the material is charged, there is nothing to prepare in the small Stareso station?
Well , we go to the Fango!! It’s an amazing area at 1h30 from Stareso. The Fango is a river coming from the montain with basins where you can swim in fresh water at 25°C!!! So, after lunch we spend 3 hours there only for relaxing. The divers dried themselves on rocks after the hard unscrewing activity they did Friday.

The landscape is completely different from what we can see in Stareso. Other montains, other vegetation, other local population (there is lot of families with kids going to the Fango) and other fishes (yes there is trout in the river as well as other small fishes).

Our guide (ndrl Jean-Michel) brought us in a small Auberge near the Fango for a ice-cream! Perfect afternoon before coming back to finish the work…

So this is the end, number 2 !

We are even closer to the end today : we just finished loading the truck ! The station seems really empty now !!
We were all scared about this step because we are not numerous (only 9 people from the LOV) and there are lots of things to load. Luckily the truck driver was already involved in the previous mesocosms experiment (DUNE) and he arrived with lots of material to make it easier. In 2 hours everything have been loaded. We managed to make enough space in the small truck to transport the samples in good conditions.

The before/after loading picture!

What’s next? We’ll have a quiet afternoon! We leave tomorrow afternoon, Monday first hour we unload and we can really say the experiment is finished (well never finished because we still have to unpack and store everything in Villefranche!).However this is not the end of the blog. There will be at least one post about how to disassemble the mesocosms. And what is the work after the experiment.

So this is the end!

So Monday was our last sampling day and a lot of people already left Stareso. We have been very busy packing, cleaning and mainly disassembling the 9 mesocosms. The weather was better and we have been able to work quickly being a great team, it is of course very efficient. Jean-Michel,Didier, David and Grigor arrived to reinforce the diving team as a lot has to be done under water. Francis also came back to take care of the logistic on the quay when the mesocosms are being bring back from the mooring. This step really ends the experiment. It was an extraordinary human and scientific adventure and a successful experiment for sure… tiring, yes but hopefully our results are going to meet our expectation,at least, we did our best to make it. As a souvenir, Frederic created nice ‘MedSea’ t-shirts and we are all happy to wear it on the picture! The experiment is over but not this blog, still open for more thoughts and
news…. Until the next experiment!!
From left to right and men (back line) to women (first line): Samir, LoIc, Walter, Thanos, Mauro and Vincent. Raquel, Afrodite, Francesca, Cécile, Anastasia, Martina, Angela, Amélie, Cinzia, Denise, Lisa, Justine and Laure. Missing people: Fred, Andy, Louisa, Tanya, Anggeliki, Karine, Clémence, Eija and Aurélie.

Messing up the mesocosms…all for zooplankton! (by Thanos)

Thanos processing samples after collecting the zooplakton

If you ever find yourself in the middle of a mesocosm experiment somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea and you decide to mess up with it, then you have only one choice. Call us. Call the ZMUT*.

We can do almost anything. We can do cubiing, pumping and sampling all free of charge ;). We collect copepods and their eggs and feed them with the soup from the mesocosms (each soup with different pH flavour), trying to understand how acidification of the seas affects those living creatures.

But the most important…

We are the only ones who can professionally mess up the mesocosms. The only thing that is needed is a net, just a common zooplankton sampling net.

And after that …

No microlayers, no samples, no filtration, no sediment traps.

Simple as that.

PS1: Our best wishes (double for those who are here from the beginning) for a safe return back home and for good results to all cubists of STARESO.

PS2: Thanks all of you for your help!

* Zooplankton Messing Up Team (ISO 2000)

Sediment traps, the best part !!! (by Amélie)

Mesocosms are like iceberg, the big part is underwater, the bottom is around 14m of depth and at the bottom of the bag there are the famous sediment traps.

Underwater view of the meso

I am in charged of sediment traps, they need to be changed everyday! It’s the best part of the mission, every afternoon I go with Sylvain to replace the sediment traps (which consiste in a plastic bottle screwed on the sediment particules manifold). We are totally independent, we go under water from the station to the mesocosms using underwater scooter, it’s so cool!!! It’s very fast around 20 minutes to go, change the nine traps and come back.

Sylvain and Amélie leaving the harbor to change the sediment traps

Under water it’s so calm (even when very windy at the surface), everyday we are welcomed by a multitude of curious fish.

We found a lot of swimmers in sediment traps and sometimes jellyfish!

The plastic bottles which are changed every day.
A jellyfish in the sediment trap!!

The sediment traps collection is done to measure the export of organic and inorganic carbon and see if there are differences between treatments.

I would like to sincerely thank Sylvain who come with me everyday and Alex (the Sunday afternoons) as well as Stephen who took a really nice pictures of mesocosms.

…THE DAILY JOHNATAN’S JOURNEY.. (by Francesca and Cinzia)

I have been spending almost one month in the wonderful Stareso station, working in the mesocosms and it is revealing a really great experience! Some are happier some are less to go back home, however tomorrow will be the last day of the experiments…I did a lot of “in situ” work because my parameter’s analysis can not wait (at least for CDOM). But today I am not going to bore you about my analysis!

I would like to tell you a little story about..our Johnathans (the name we have given to the integrated-sampler-bottles)! Because Cinzia and me we will miss them a lot..

I am in the daily team of 8.30 am with my collegue Cinzia, so every morning we are full of energy (well, coffee is strictly necessary..) to go to the cubis for sampling K3! This the best moment of the day (as far as work is concerned..), because one of the Johnatans is randomly with us 😉

(Cinzia and Francesca at 8.30 team on cubis)
When we approch the mesocosms and we are well attach by ropes (if not the strong SW wind will blow us to Genova or Sardegna) we are ready to prepare our Johnatan for his journey into the so transparent and blue corsican waters…

He will travel in the water-column until reaching 10 m depth: we cast him very constantly, slowly and sweetly by the rope, in order he is able to collect the integrating seawater we need.

Basically is like a big 5 Liters syringe. Thus, is very important to push down the piston before casting again.

Since Samir and Fred smartly discovered the utility of the “push botton” to save time in the meanwhile we are sampling the last bottle (the pressure is higher) we also enjoy with the rest of the team to sing “Me gusta el push!”

The PUSH “moment” standing on knees

The name alludes to seagulls that unfortunately made their dwelling place above the roof of the mesocosms..
“If you love someone, set them free..If they come back they are yours..if they don’t they never were.”