This short film kicked off coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Russian TV. The film begins with an alphabet primer in which each letter corresponds to some facet of Russian history and culture, and it goes on to depict major moments in the history of Russian civilization up to the present. In the alphabet section, the Russian letter “Б” is for “Байкал” (Baikal) and the film’s protagonist is shown taking a nice, cool drink from the waters of the lake.
Baikal was also featured in the Olympic spotlight a few months ago when SCUBA divers took the Olympic torch below its surface.
This plot (called a heatmap) is essentially a table with genes as rows and populations as columns. Genes (rows) are arranged in such a way that genes with the most similar expression profile across populations are next to each other (clustered together, see the cluster dendrogram on the right; populations (columns) are arranged in such a way that two populations with the most similar expression profile are next to each other (see cluster dendrogram on top). Each cell of the table is painted by a scale of colors from red to black to green; red means that this gene is up-regulated (transcribed at a higher rate) in this population, relative to overall mean, green means that this gene is down-regulated in this population.
You can see a clear 2 clusters of genes: up-regulated in the North Basin and upregulated in Maloe More. Maloe More is also the highest fat content samples by far. We plan to sequence more samples from each region.
NB: North Baikal station 2, MM – Maloe More station 2, CB: Central Baikal station 2, SB: South Baikal station 2.
East Tennessee State University International Programs Office has approved the 2014 Study Abroad program at Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia. Led by one of our coPIs (me) and our new chair Joe Bidwell, an accomplished aquatic biologist, this study abroad will allow participants to learn about evolution and ecology of biodiversity hotspots using Baikal biota, this wonderful Nature’s laboratory, as a brilliant example. Tentative dates July 10-10 2014.
Details here: http://faculty.etsu.edu/yampolsk/Baikal2014.htm
Like us here: https://www.facebook.com/LakeBaikal2014
The trip is open for any students. (But only full time ETSU students eligible for ETSU financial aid).
Contact Lev Yampolsky email@example.com if you are interested.
Kirill and Ted prepare our net on board the Kozhov. Photo: K. Woo.
The latest issue of the bulletin of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography featured a number of exciting international outreach projects, including our own work [pdf file] on Lake Baikal!
Our outreach project focused on facilitating communication between Russian early career scientists and the public, as well as enabling a young Russian researcher to work with a large international and multidisciplinary research team. The young Russian PhD student who worked with us, Kirill Shchapov, had the opportunity to work with our team and to speak about Lake Baikal to students, scientists and members of a local NGO.
Elena and Sabine showing Steve the Baikal plankton cultures – careful, we have to keep them cold! Photo S.E. Hampton, 9 November 2013
Last week Steve and I visited the Baikal crew at Kellogg Biological Station to exchange results and new ideas for collaborations on the Baikal project. KBS has a famous history of important work in aquatic science, and it is always a special destination for limnologists.
It was especially exciting for us to be there while there is so much activity around culturing the Baikal plankton isolates from the summer field season, and at a time when all of us have projects with new results we are puzzling over and needing lots of feedback. Paul showed us some results of the genetic characterizations of the microbial community of Baikal open waters, hot off the presses, and we speculated wildly about the many new species that the team might be discovering – wild speculation is the most fun part of new results, and the hard work of figuring out what is actually going on will soon displace the wild speculations! We discussed Danny’s nutrient-temperature phytoplankton experiments, and interesting possibilities for developing niche models for the phytoplankton based on both observational and experimental data. Continue reading
Two weeks ago, while delivering an invited talk about our Baikal project at Michigan Technological University located on the south shore of L. Superior, I was struck by the many similarities and important differences between Lakes Superior and Baikal . While at Michigan Tech, I toured the university’s impressive new Great Lakes Research Center and I met with multiple scientists – remote sensing experts, stream ecologists, limnologists, fishery biologists, and algal biochemists – who are probing fascinating processes within L. Superior or its watershed. Also, during my visit, I toured the local area with my hosts, Dr. Charlie Kerfoot and Lucille Zelazny, and through them I learned about the rich history of the local area.
Both lakes are amazingly similar physically, chemically and biologically. For example, both are cold, oligotrophic (low in nutrients) and share similar water transparency and photic zone depths (Table 1). Furthermore, both lakes are responding to contemporary climate change with their surface temperatures warming and duration of winter ice cover shortening significantly. Continue reading
While many excellent photographs have been posted here (and will be posted in the future), we also need a place to store, share and organize our Baikal photographs in large quantities. We have a few hundred of them…
Anyone interested can see them here: http://baikal-dimensions-photos.tumblr.com/archive.
Team members: to upload the photographs you would like to share with each other and the rest of the world, go to tumblr.com/dashboard and login. If you have not received the login info form me please e-mail me.