My Antarctic research is a collaborative work with Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), in particular with Dr Ahn In-Young. This research is supported by a funding from Yayasan Penyelidikan Antartika Sultan Mizan (YPASM). My research is to determine the impact of glacier melting (due to climate changes) on the functioning of benthic communities (Benthic – is the vertically lowest zone in aquatic ecosystem, including the sediment or seafloor. Organisms inhabiting this zone are called benthos). Or in simpler word, when the melted ice finds its way to the sea, would it affect the life and activities of benthic communities?
In this study, we are looking at how the melting of glacier that associate with the changing of seawater temperature, salinity and turbidity, would, subsequently affect the benthic communities in the coastal water of Marian Cove, West Antarctic Peninsula. We are also expecting the sedimentation due to the melting ice would affect the feeding of benthic organisms. In addition, the impact of floating and grounded ice will also be investigated.
Benthic communities have been used as an indicator of various ecosystems. This is for several reasons such as; 1)benthos are less mobile, hence the status of their community would explain the status of the habitat they live; 2) benthos are important food source for many fish, therefore their community status is of interest of many of us!.
We hope findings from this study will provide the baseline information on how the global warming is affecting world’s ecosystems, and will, in any way influent how the governments and policy makers react toward conserving and maintaining the ecosystems.