We are using the already extensive set of circum-Antarctic accessions of the Hustedt collection, as well as extending them by new collections on board Polarstern. We are working on improving mobilization of taxon observation records backed up by voucher images (as well as by the physical specimens on the shelves); and on using such observation records to assess present and possible future distribution of these taxa. We are also interested in tracing morphological, physiological and molecular differences within individual Antarctic diatom species across environmental gradients or through periods of environmental change, in the water column and in the sediment record, in order to gain insights into micro-evolutionary processes accompanying environmental change.
Our current projects include:
1) Developing high throughput microscopic imaging and image analysis methods for diatom analyses (collaboration with Gerhard Kauer) - for the most recent published snapshot of our methods, see this paper, and our SHERPA page
2) Using species distribution modeling to assess present and future biogeographies of Southern Ocean diatom taxa - our first models for Fragilariopsis kerguelensis can be seen here
3) Investigating adaptive differerentiation within Southern Ocean diatom species at the pheno- and genotypic level