Antarctic Study Focuses on Climate-driven Change

June 21, 2021

Congratulations to Satyendra Pothula, a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. Patricia Stock’s laboratory!  Satyendra was awarded the Antarctic Service Medal in recognition for his valuable contributions to exploration and scientific achievement under the United States Antarctic Program by The US Secretary of Defense.  While a postdoc at Brigham Yong University (B. Adams Laboratory), Satyendra spent two months in Antarctica during the 2019 season working on the Long-term Ecological Research Program (LTER).

The LTER project is working to characterize how an entire ecosystem in the Antarctic dry valleys responds to climate-driven changes. Dry valleys are the largest region of continental Antarctica that is not covered by the Antarctic ice sheet. Long-term experiments have been conducted in the dry valleys since 1993.

Several teams in the LTER are looking at glaciers, streams, and lakes, while the Stock team is focused on soils and in particular, looking at soil biology. The charismatic megafauna of continental Antarctica includes tiny nematode worms, tardigrades (water bears), and rotifers. Satyendra’s research focused on the response of these soil animals to climate-driven changes.