MSc student, University of Amsterdam
Bio: My name is Lisette Mekkes and I’m studying MSc Limnology&Oceanography at the ‘Universiteit van Amsterdam‘, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics. To get into marine science has been my dream since I was very little. Oceans cover most of our Earth, while so much needs to be discovered yet! I started to work with pteropods during my first MSc project under supervision of Dr. Katja Peijnenburg, at Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, Leiden. I got the unique opportunity to study Styliola pteropods originating from all oceanic regions, and designed a new microCT morphometric method in order to study calcification in their natural environment. This also brought me to a pteropod workshop in Cambridge, where I met Dr. Nina Bednarsek. As Nina got to know me, and my willingness to learn and experience more, she offered me the great opportunity to come with her on this West Coast OA cruise. This will be the second cruise I’ve participated in, however, this experience will not be comparable to the previous one which was on a 10 meter long sailing ship on the North Sea in November!
What I’m doing on this cruise: During this cruise, I will assist Nina with pteropod collection and her shipboard experiments, where we will look at the effects of future ocean chemistry on these organisms. Moreover, this MSc project will be a first collaboration between Nina Bednarsek, NOAA, and Katja Peijnenburg, Naturalis. Katja received a grant from KNAW Ecology Fund to make it possible for me to collect pteropods along the cross-shore transect in order to obtain predictive understanding of the potential of pteropods to adapt to changing ocean acidification. I also received a Graduate Grant from the Malacological Society of London to support this project.