July 14, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Inside NQPI | Editor’s Second Year in Antarctica

Amanda Biederman highlighting the Antarctic environment near Palmer Station, Antarctica.

Amanda Biederman highlighting the Antarctic environment near Palmer Station, Antarctica.

By Raymond Humienny
NQPI editorial intern

Biological Sciences Ph.D. student and the Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute’s editorial intern Amanda Biederman has spent the past three months at Palmer Station, Antarctica, studying fish and their warming climate – though this is not her first time.

“Since this is my second season at Palmer Station, I went in with a much clearer idea of what to expect,” Biederman said. “I spent the year before deployment designing a set of experiments to complete at Palmer for my dissertation.”

For anyone unfamiliar with the NQPI editorial staff, Biederman began her internship in January 2016 and has been working hard on her dissertation since.

Inspired by her adviser Dr. Lisa Crockett, Professor of Biological Sciences at Ohio University, Biederman took Antarctic research upon herself to help climate change studies and learn about Antarctic fish populations. Before actually going to Antarctica, her pursuits led her into graduate research on membrane biology.

“I found her work with Antarctic fishes particularly exciting because it’s so relevant to climate change, which is such an important topic for discussion among our society today,” Biederman said.

Antarctica is a temporary home for Biederman and other researchers, but the cold does not stop experimentation. In fact, the climate does not even stop the team from taking time off to relax.

“We all had a big celebration for the winter solstice last month,” Biederman said. “We all come up with creative ways to have fun despite the cold and isolation. A lot of people go out boating or hiking on our day off.”

For Biederman personally, the research highlights pinnacle moments for her academic career.

“It feels very satisfying to have completed two major milestones (comprehensive exam and proposal defense) as a graduate student,” Biederman said. “The preparation that I went through in order to accomplish this has definitely helped me to build a research plan and to succeed the best I can in the field.”

This research is supported by grant number NSF ANT 1341602. For more information, please view Dr. Lisa Crockett’s published work on Antarctic fish.

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