What is life like beneath the polar ice?

Prof. Antje Boetius

We know so little about the deep sea, and even less about what it's like beneath the ice of the Earth's polar regions. How does life flourish in one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet?

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1000 species of algae live beneath the polar ice - the lowest link in the food chain of an incredible, thriving marine ecosystem.

It's easy to imagine that no life could flourish in the cold, dark conditions beneath the ice of the Arctic and Antarctic. Marine biologists still only partly understand how the food web under the ice works: given how difficult it is to access the underside of the pack ice, opportunities for observation are few and far between. It’s only been in the last few years that scientists have slowly begun to unlock the secrets of this fascinating environment, thanks to the arrival of underwater robots and nets specially designed for use under the ice. 

Prof. Antje Boetius, one of the foremost experts in polar and marine science in the world, joins us in The Garden to shine a light on one of the most undiscovered regions on the planet and answer your questions.

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Talk outline

Duration

50 minutes

What to expect

30 minute talk

20 minute Member Q&A

Prof. Antje Boetius

Prof. Antje Boetius is the Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany, where she explores previously undiscovered habitats in the deep sea, in particular deep-sea ecosystems below the ice.

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Covering almost three-quarters of the Earth, our amazing oceans are vast, beautiful, scary and relatively unexplored. This collection brings to the surface fascinating insights and stories across ocean science, conservation and culture.