Dr Bruce Deagle:
My name is Dr Bruce Deagle and I am just starting out at the AAD as Post-Doctoral Fellow working on krill genomics. My undergraduate degree was in ecology and when I started to do postgraduate work I started using genetics to understand animal ecology and I have really been doing that for the past 10 years.
The main part of the project is really getting the genetic blueprint of Antarctic krill under control. There’s a lot of new genetic technology that’s available just in the last few years and so we can apply those techniques to get the genetic blueprint. This genomic research, I guess, will just provide a baseline for understanding how the krill will actually adapt to things like climate change and ocean acidification. It gives us the finest scale tool possible to understand how an organism reacts to change and if they will be able to react.
The krill genome is essentially like a map and a resource that can be used for future scientists. So once we have the first krill genome sequence produced we can actually put it on the web and internationally researchers can use this information to design any sort of genetics study they might see fit. So it’s only a first step and it’s a resource that can be used by all Antarctic researchers.
I think there s a real revolution going on in the DNA technology world so this project is really going to bring the AAD into the new field of genomics and so this will be a first for the sequencing of a krill genome. Being a geneticist at this particular point in time is very exciting just because of all the new technology that’s available and working again with the Antarctic division is wonderful for me. So I think it’s going to be an excellent project.