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The objectives of our project are to study the cyanobacterial mats and microbial structures in Lake Joyce to better understand the diversity and processes that create these microbial structures.


In order to study the structures the samples need to be collected by  diving. Once they are brought back to our field lab directly on the ice of Lake Joyce, they are documented, the diversity studied using microscopy and samples preserved for further analysis back at our home institutions. I am particularly interested in collecting material for DNA-based tools to study cyanobacterial diversity.



Diving in Lake Joyce



Microscopy analysis of cyanobacteria from Lake Joyce



Filtration of water samples



Life in Lake Joyce is dominated by microbes. The water of Lake Joyce is nutrient-depleted and only little light makes it through the ice. The nutrient concentrations are so low in the water column that microbes remain at low concentrations, however diverse microbial communities can be found a long the bottom and the sides of the lake.


Much of the microbial communities are cyanobacterial mats and many unusual structures can be found.


Some of the structures are several centimeters  tall and have  a orange-purple colour. The colour is due to the  production of cyanobacterial pigments that help capture light for photosynthesis.





Anne D Jungblut

Anne D Jungblut

Member since: Sep 2, 2010

I'm Anne Jungblut from the Botany Department. Join me as I head to Antarctica to study cyanobacterial diversity in ice-covered lakes of the Dry Valleys and Ross Island where already scientists on Scott's and Shakleton's expeditions made many discoveries.

View Anne D Jungblut's profile