Little life in high currents

A small excursion leads us to the ocean floor. In numerous sediment samples we find foraminifera, microscopic single-celled organisms with calcitic shells, attached to hard substrates on the sediment surface. These samples were taken in the Strait of Gibraltar. The cibicids shown in the picture colonize elevated substrates in these regions to collect food transported […]


Net hauls have so far provided valuable insights into the gelatinous zooplankton communities along our transect from the Mediterranean Sea into the North Atlantic Ocean. While our sampling sites in the Strait of Gibraltar were mostly populated by pelagic tunicates (salps), several hydromedusae (A. Liriope sp. with abundances of up to 1 ind. m-3), the […]


The weather is beautiful off the Portugal coast right now, and we’re having lots of sampling success. We just finished deploying various nets to sample microplastic particles, zooplankton, and gelatinous zooplankton. The net sampling starts with this 1.5m diameter WP3 net. The net is dropped to 100 m, and towed vertically to collect gelatinous zooplankton […]

Sunny skies

Catamaran trawl, collecting particles and microplastics from the sea surface in the strait of Gibraltar, between the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean

We completed our first two stations without a problem. The Alkor crew knows our gear well, and deployment and retrieval are as smooth as the glassy sea surface right now. We’re collecting water and particles from the CTD/Niskin rosette, underway seawater system, and pumps that filter in situ. We use Bongo nets to collect particles […]

Finally at sea

The science team of AL534-2 on the bow of Alkor

After a day of delay due to bad weather, we’re finally able to leave port. The labs are all set up, and the equipment ready to deploy. Just a few hours to the first station…


The first official HOTMIC research cruise will be on F/S Alkor, and leaves from Malaga, Spain, on 05 March. The cruise track will follow the European coast from the Mediterranean Sea through the eastern Atlantic, Bay of Biscay, English Channel, and North Sea, to finish in the Baltic Sea at Kiel, Germany, on 01 April. […]


Technically, the first unofficial HOTMIC research cruise was conducted at the end of summer 2019, in the North Atlantic Gyre on F/S Poseidon. You can read more on their blog here and here.