We have around one month left in Antarctica and we’re making the most of it!

Our DGT have been deployed to sediments in meltstreams:

The hardest part is finding: 1. running water (it’s mostly ice here) and 2. sediment (it’s mostly rock here)

To spots in the ocean:

That’s them hiding in the cage on the rope after Gwil deployed them (he’s in the red boat). We use the buoys to keep these ones off the sediment so they only measure contaminants in the water. The buoys also make them easy to find…. when they’re not dragged away by icebergs (seriously)

To freshwater lakes:



Gwil deploying DGT to the meltlake at Wilkes. We keep the DGT in cages to let water run through but stop inquisitive penguins (see earlier post)


Soon to marine sediments (we’ve got them sitting in big tubs of seawater to acclimate):

Literally a bucket of mud. Note the happy diatom community and worms. We change the seawater regularly to keep it fresh.

And soon to soils:


Don’t know what to tell you… it’s soil. Also, while these photos may suggest Gwil (pictured) does all the actual work, I’m very busy doing the important work of telling Gwil to do the work.


DGT work by accumulating metal contaminants through a diffusive membrane. This acts kinda like the skin of a worm, the gills of a fish, or the membrane of a microalgae.  That way, we can see what contaminants are actually able to cause toxicity to organisms. We’re hoping to couple what DGT measure with our knowledge of environmental toxicology to assess the overall risk of contaminants in the environment. This will help decision makers and environmental managers better target remediation efforts and current environmental practices!