Fish larvae

The sorting and sampling of fish larvae is one of the main tasks on our research cruises. Every year we cover a specific grid of 45 stations in the Bornholm Basin and since last year we also sample 35 stations on a grid in the western Baltic Sea. On each of these stations, sampling consists […]

Sampling the dark hours

Time at sea is limited and thus precious and there is so much to be done on a scientific cruise. To get the best possible snapshot of life in the Baltic Sea during our 12-day journey, we therefore try to sample as many locations as we can along the way to increase the resolution of […]

AL592 now posting from the Baltic Sea!

Hello from Bornholm Basin in the central Baltic Sea! With a team of 12 scientists and 11 permanent crew, we are currently operating in Baltic waters with research vessel Alkor to improve understanding of this beautiful but also heavily impacted and rapidly changing system. For this purpose, we measure physical and chemical parameters (temperature, salinity […]

Alkor Cruise 563: What are we doing, and why?

Scientist onboard RV Alkor work on deck with the mulitnet, sunset in the background

It was a nice and sunny day, like most of our days on the Alkor, the research vessel of our cruise. Steady noise coming from the winch and anticipating buzz, which surrounded a group of students with safety boots and helmets, filled the air. Once the upcoming net broke the water surface and got „gehievt“ […]

Science, the Sea, and Finding My Sea Legs


Back in October of 2020, deciding to move to a new country where I didn’t speak or understand the language at the height of a worldwide pandemic to pursue MSc. Biological Oceanography was a challenge I never thought I could overcome, but here we are in September 2021! Truth be told, two semesters of just […]

Power of the plankton pt. 2

Today scientific cruise party member Elvita is going to take you even deeper into the world of plankton (aka “the diverse collection of organisms in the water column that are unable to propel themselves against a current”). Here is what she writes: While we were all excited about finding an early cod larva in our […]

Power of the plankton pt.1

Today scientific crew member Anton is going to introduce you to the importance and fascination of larval fishes in the Baltic Sea. Here is his blog entry: Most of the fish species in the Baltic Sea spawn in spring. This is the time when life starts to bloom not only on land but also in […]

Work while others are sleeping

Living and working on board the RV Alkor provides many opportunities to collect valuable data that helps us to understand what is happening in the Baltic Sea. Working as efficiently as possible during the limited time we have at sea means that we also have to work at night time – when all others are […]

Land, ho! Kalmar!

After the fair amount of work on the board and sampling the exciting marine organisms, Alkor brought us safely to Kalmar in Sweden, where two of our scientific crew left and two new participants joined us. For me, as a first-time-on-board-attendee, the arrival at the harbor was a great experience. All our scientific crew went […]