The CACHE mascots, Clarence and Clemmie, say au revoir to Antarctica and share their final adventure….
“Well, finally it’s time for us to leave and come back to live with Nina in Cambridge. We have really enjoyed our time down here and we have learnt a lot, especially about our Antarctic cousins. On one of the last evenings, we had a gyotaku (printing) evening in the Bonner lab and we made some prints from the shells of our cousins which we will be taking back as a present to Nina.
The science going on down here is really important to help us understand the effects of climate change on this unique environment, and the environment is really changing. Dr Mel’s first trip to the Antarctic was in 2006, when she took the photo on the left (which is the glacier just outside the office window). 9 years later) the glacier looks very different, the ice has really receded. So there has been a lot of change down here, even in this short time, which is very scary.
Dr Mel is the co-ordinator of the CACHE network, which is working on European shellfish species, but it was her work on our Antarctic cousins that inspired her to develop the CACHE project. Our time down here showed us how the CACHE project can link to Antarctic research, by increasing our understanding of how animals, particularly our cold cousins, make shells and what this means for their survival in the future. So as we say ‘Goodbye Antarctica’ we would just like to thank everyone at Rothera for making us really welcome.
So as we leave you with a last picture of a beautiful Antarctic sunset: Nina where are we going next?”