Shadwick Lab Expedition

Mar Arroyo


VIMS graduate student Mar Arroyo

I’m a first-year graduate student in Dr. Elizabeth’s Shadwick’s lab at VIMS. I received my BSc in Marine and Atmospheric Science from the University of Miami in May 2016, with a focus in chemical oceanography. At UM, I spent over 60 days at sea, participating on research cruises with NOAA and CLIVAR/GO-SHIP. I’m interested in inorganic carbon chemistry in the Southern Ocean and the impacts of the changing sea-ice environment on the carbon cycle. For the next 6 weeks, I will be on a voyage to the Southern Ocean and the Mertz and Totten Glaciers in East Antarctica on the RV Aurora Australis. The Totten Glacier has been recently named the fastest thinning glacier in East Antarctica. I’m excited to see the changes to the carbon system from years ago because of this glacier melt.

Steinberg/PAL-LTER Expedition

Patricia Thibodeau

VIMS graduate student Patricia Thibodeau

VIMS graduate student Patricia Thibodeau

Growing up on the coast of Maine, the ocean has always been an important part of my life. Studying at Bowdoin College, I realized I was very interested in the interactions between the physics and biology of the ocean. Plankton are the ideal organisms for studying these interactions as passive drifters of the ocean. The Antarctic represents an environment still relatively understudied, particularly regarding plankton. My interest in climate change and plankton led me to pursue my Ph.D. in Dr. Steinberg’s zooplankton ecology lab. For my dissertation, I have the opportunity to conduct research on the Palmer, Antarctica Long Term Ecological Research cruise every January. Specifically, I am studying pteropods, open-ocean snails important in food web and biogeochemical cycling, and how they may be affected by climate change in the region.  

John Conroy

VIMS graduate student John 'Jack' Conroy

VIMS graduate student John ‘Jack’ Conroy

I am a first-year graduate student at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science working with Dr. Debbie Steinberg. Our research group is participating in the 25th annual Palmer Antarctica Long-Term Ecological Research (PAL LTER) cruise this January. I went on my first PAL LTER cruise two years ago as a William & Mary undergraduate and have since hung around the Steinberg lab with hopes of getting back to the ice. My broad scientific interest lies in how ecosystems respond to climate change. Rapid warming in the region we study – the Western Antarctic Peninsula – has lead to substantial ice loss in recent decades. I am excited to join researchers from around the world working to identify the implications of these changes.

Kharis Schrage

W&M Senior Honors student Kharis Scharge

I’m a senior honors student at the College of William and Mary. I’ve always wanted to study marine biology, so I joined Dr. Jon Allen’s lab my freshman year and started working on both the ecology and development of acorn worms. Since then, I’ve participated in field courses in Virginia, Wales, and Bonaire. Last winter, I spent three weeks at Lizard Island research station in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia doing developmental work on Crown of Thorns Seastars. Last summer, I spent my honors fellowship in Maine doing my Honors thesis on acorn worm ecology and intertidal zonation. Dr. Debbie Steinberg at VIMS offers a spot on the Antarctica cruise to a William and Mary undergraduate each year, and this year I was lucky enough to get chosen! I’m looking forward to expanding my research experience through this trip!