Researchers of Wageningen University & Research can regularly be found on and around Svalbard. For example, to do research on plastic waste, marine mammals and birds, alien species or climate change. Svalbard is also home to the ‘Svalbard Global Seed Vault’: a safe with genetic material from plant species.

There and back again

5 September 2018 | Category: Svalbard

When I think back on this expedition; about all the things we have been doing; all the beaches we have sampled, the distance we have travelled, I can’t even think of one single highlight. We have had so many highlights that will make this trip unforgettable. After heading south from…

82 degrees north

A mother and cub polar bear in the expanse of Arctic sea ice (photo by Martine van den Heuvel-Greve)
3 September 2018 | Category: Svalbard

Plancius took a turn and headed straight north. After half a week on board, the atmosphere among the passengers has become more relaxed, interactions have moved past the small talk and into enjoying each other’s company. Martine was invited to give a presentation on the project to inform the passengers…

The walrus, the guide, and the polar bear

1 September 2018 | Category: Svalbard

The weather turned and the sea got rough. The doctor on-board was quite busy giving out ear patches for sea sickness. So far we have managed to sample two beaches on this trip, and we are quite happy with that. Along with our partners in other parts of Svalbard, we…

Onwards and upwards

30 August 2018 | Category: Svalbard

Our four days in Longyearbyen consisted of laundry, sorting samples, preparing for the coming second half of the expedition, and much anticipated showering! We also exchanged our team member Hans for Kimberley, an expert in marine aliens and biosecurity from New Zealand. We were now a four-women research squad, ready…

Eerie silence

27 August 2018 | Category: Svalbard

We reached the final beaches of the southern part of the expedition overnight. We were in Bellsund, a fjord located halfway between Hornsund (to the south) and Isfjorden (to the north). We started around 05:00 to be able to sample during low tide. When we emerged on deck we found…

An oasis of civility

Icebergs in the water near the glacier at Hornsund (photo by Anneke van den Brink)
25 August 2018 | Category: Svalbard

Alas! We remain unshowered! Our luck improved since our first sampling attempt on Edgeøya, and finally we were beginning to fill our sample bottle storage box. As our boat made its way through glassy waters surrounded by steep, scoured cliffs where landslides had exposed the permafrost in some areas, we…

The unpredictable Arctic

The Magnus Zaremba, our home for the next week (photo by Anneke van den Brink)
21 August 2018 | Category: Svalbard

Our journey started well. Although our vessel, the Magnus Zaremba came into Longyearbyen a little later than planned, we had it loaded and set out to sea by the evening. We were headed to the furthest sampling site in our plan, a beach on Edgeøya, located in the Storfjorden on…

The top of the world

photo 4 exploring the road
20 August 2018 | Category: Svalbard

It was a dark and stormy night… No, actually it was a bright and sunny night when we arrived at Longyearbyen airport at 1:30am. With the midnight sun greeting us among the snow-capped mountains and rippling waters of the Adventfjorden, it felt like a totally different world – and that’s…

How much mercury do we find in bottom-dwelling organisms of the Arctic fjord?

How much mercury do we find in bottom dwelling organisms of the Arctic fjord?
25 July 2017 | Category: Svalbard

The first time on the water is always a bit hectic, developing the best working process with the equipment and research team. After a few hours everything worked fine and we were able to complete the whole sampling we had scheduled for that location. Fulmars joined us around the boat during the whole sampling. So what did we do during sampling?

Bye, Ny-Ålesund!

12 July 2016 | Category: Svalbard

– By: Isolde Puts – The polar days in Ny-Ålesund passed by very fast. The focus during the last few days were on finishing the experiments, cleaning up in the labs, and storing our research equipment. And now we’re back home. Midsummer celebration at Ny-Ålesund Luckily I could celebrate the ending…