Sea ice extent and the frequency of harmful algal blooms, which may even become more toxic, will be affected by the ongoing gradual increase of the global temperature. Reduced sea ice as well as more frequent toxic blooms will have an impact on local communities, ecosystem services as well as industries (e.g. fisheries). To understand the underlying processes and mechanisms regulating sea ice and toxic blooms, it is essential to document the past variability of sea ice extent and harmful algal blooms.
The collaboration between Uni Research and Ifremer is dedicated to develop, improve and promote environmental ancient DNA as a next generation tool for specifically investigating the dynamics and past variability of sea ice and harmful algal blooms. The new and innovative method of environmental ancient DNA has comparable challenges for both - seemingly unrelated - sea ice and harmful algal bloom reconstructions. These challenges will be tackled through the proposed collaboration and provide essential new insights into the processes operating in a globally warmer world.