Predator-prey food web in Antarctica.

SCINI-Penguin is an NSF funded project to study food web interactions of Adelie penguins, minke and killer whales, crystal krill and silver fish. Using a SCINI ROV we sampled before and after the icebreaker cut open the 20 km channel from the ice edge to McMurdo Station and enabled penguins and whales to feed on crystal krill exposed by the opened ice. This project is a baseline study necessary to start a multi-disciplinary investigation before top predators are removed from the system as has occurred in most other ecosystems on the planet. 



Image of sponge and crinoids taken with SCINI ROVICEAGED is an NSF funded project to study long term ecological change in Antarctic seafloor communities. Using a SCINI ROV and SCUBA, we collated research initiated 47 years ago by our collaborator Paul Dayton at Scripps. Our legacy is a database that will provide a baseline and inform future benthic work in the region. Read about recruitment, growth, and mortality of an Antarctic hexactinellid sponge here.





SCINI ROV diving through a hole in the ice in Antarctica

SCINI was a three year NSF grant to develop a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for deployment in Antarctica to study the sea floor. SCINI, Submersible Capable of under-Ice Navigation and Imaging, has been utilized successfully in several other NSF funded projects.