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Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 12:12 UK

Dr Elanor Bell - aquatic microbial ecologist

Dr Elanor Bell

Viruses and bacteria are the most abundant organisms in marine ecosystems and play a critical role in biological and biogeochemical processes.

I will be investigating viral-bacterial interactions in the water column, sea-ice and sediment.

This will involve collecting water, sediment and ice samples to measure viral and bacterial cell abundance, production and viral-induced bacterial mortality, and subsequently relating these to local environmental conditions, such as sea-ice and climate.

I am looking forward to getting stuck into a really robust, collaborative science project that addresses globally pertinent issues without the everyday distractions of e-mail, telephones and paperwork.

We have a great team of scientists onboard and I think we are going to have a lot of fun despite the gruelling work schedule.

On a personal level, I am looking forward to the breath-taking sight of ice-bergs and vast expanses of pack-ice dotted with seals and the occasional polar bear - from experience there is nothing like ice, snow and clean, cold air to make me feel alive!

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