The fourth Romanian Scientific Research Expedition in Antarctica (ROICE 2020), organized by the National Institute for Research and Development of Biological Sciences (INCDSB) started today, January 02, 2020, by the team departure to Antarctica.
The ROICE 2020 expedition takes place from January 2 to February 04, 2020, at the King Sejong Antarctic Station of the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) on King George Island in Western Antarctica and is based on the Framework Agreement between INCDSB and KOPRI.
ROICE 2020 team on departure from “Henri Coandă” International Airport, Bucharest, Romania
The ROICE 2020 objectives are in the fields of Life Sciences and Geosciences (paleoclimatology) covered by the National Antarctic Research Program 2014 – 2020 and the SCAR Program and have been approved by the Korean partners.
These objectives are:
1. Investigating the water quality of the Antarctic Ocean, aiming at identifying potential polluting compounds (eg plastic degradation compounds, oil residues, and so on.);
2. The chemical characterization of snow / ice with the purpose of establishing correlations between it and the structure of the communities of microorganisms;
3. Investigating microbial diversity as a potential indicator of the air transfer of microorganisms;
4. Isolation and characterization of microorganisms adapted to extreme temperatures from snow, ice, seawater with the purpose of isolating strains with potential bionanotechnological applications;
5. Assessment of the impact of climate change and more precisely the withdrawal of the Antarctic ice sheet on the microbial communities included in the ice.
In addition, the impact of extreme conditions (cold, stress, depth) on the human body and on the behavior of the members of the expedition will be monitored.