|Biology and Climate Change||Low Temperature Microbiology||Marine Mammal Ecology|
Dramatic changes have occurred in polar ecosystems over the last several decades. These changes have had a profound impact on the organisms that inhabit the Arctic, ranging from sea ice algae to marine mammals, whose feeding habits are closely linked to the presence of the sea ice. Biology also affects the fundamental physical properties of the ocean. The presence of algae, for example, affects how much and where sunlight and heat is absorbed in the Arctic Ocean during summer. The distribution of algae in sea ice also affects how sunlight is reflected, absorbed and transmitted by the ice cover. PSC researchers conduct Arctic biological research, ranging from studies that aim to understand how microscopic life exists at low temperatures to studies that aim to understand the migration patterns and feeding habits of polar bears and whales. We are also developing computer models to track and predict future changes in Arctic ecosystems.