Tuesday, 22 July 2014

OSD Consortium

OSD is the world’s first simultaneous megasequencing campaign.  Having taken place for the first time on the June 2012 solstice, four pilot events took place before the Main OSD Event in June 2014.  Plans are taking shape to continue to 2015 and ideally beyond.  OSD is completely dependent on the collaborative participation of marine researchers around the globe taking samples from sites of special scientific interest.  Many of the initial sites joined because they are dedicated to long-term marine research and as such, are taking part in the Genomic Observatories (GOs) Network.  As OSD events progressed additional sites have joined, often with the added benefit of bringing more diverse locations for sampling into the OSD fold.

Due to the success of this ‘crowd-sourced’ project, a large network of sites and researchers has now come together (more than 180 for June 2014).  At the 16th meeting of the Genomic Standards Consortium at the University of Oxford, the community agreed to formalize into the Ocean Sampling Day Consortium.  

Combined, the OSD Co-ordination Team and the Network of sites, contribute to the infrastructure and expertise that allows co-ordinated OSD events to take place.

As part of the Consortium, participants are formally part of the OSD Network of sites, get access to training activities under Micro B3, and samples are prioritized for all types of data generation (as funds and resources allow) and bioarchiving.

In return, participants agree to provide samples according to OSD protocols (see the OSD Handbook) and work under the umbrella of the OSD Data Policy which requires open sharing of data, appropriate legal framework for sampling and agreement to publish within the consortium.

Here we describe how to join and participate in the OSD Consortium.  

Joining the OSD Consortium

1.  The first step is to fill in an expression of interest.

2.  You will then be contacted and asked to join in a Skype telecon to assess your interest and decide on steps forward.

3. All sites must be registered in the OSD Sites Registry to formally be recognized as part of the OSD Consortium.  To do so requires a named co-ordinator for each site and contribution of basic descriptors of the site.

4.  Once formally registered, sites can take part in OSD sampling events according to the OSD Handbook.

5. Contributed samples must conform to ABS, MTA and Data Policy requirements.

6. All sites will be invited to take part in publication on the whole OSD data set and to join the OSD Analysis Working Group.


Expression of interest:

Registering a Site in the OSD SItes Registry:

OSD Handbook:

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Ocean Sampling Day in the Antarctic – this time around, we were early!

This year we managed to get out on the 17th of June. As the weather forecast is very unreliable and another weather window was not in sight, we decided to take the opportunity and get the samples early. When we left base in our RIB it was still snowing and it took us quite a while to push through the pancake ice but we finally got to Site 1 (see Figure 1). The fast ice edge was just where we wanted to sample which was good as it was slightly too windy and we would have drifted quite a lot. However, we found a little bay and were able to throw an anchor onto the ice to stop us from drifting. During the 2 ½ hours we were out there, the weather cleared up and it turned into a quite beautiful day. Despite the sun not rising currently, it got quite light and the wind calmed down.

Click here to a little video we have put together.

Figure 1: At Rothera we have 3 Sites we commonly visit for CTDs. Site 1 is 500m deep and allows us a full CTD profile. Site 2 is closer to base and only 200m deep but less likely to be covered by ice in the winter. Site 3 is just off the wharf and only about 100m deep. This side is only visited if the ice is too thick to get any further.

Like last year we filtered 2l for each of the 4 replicates through Sterivex filters. They were put into the -80°C freezer for preservation until the ship picks them up in March 2015.
For us in Antarctica, the 21st of June is a very special day being the winter solstice. It marks the day with the least daylight. At Rothera this means that we still get a couple of hours of daylight (without seeing the sun), but others spend their days in complete darkness. As Christmas is not quite as big as a deal down here as it is at home, midwinter is celebrated much more. At the beginning of winter we all pick names out of a hat (like secret santa) and had to make a present for the person we drew. Lots of amazing things were made like hammocks, clocks, cake stands, models of sledges, a real size sledge, a Banjo case and more. We got together in the morning at around 11am (just when it started getting light) for breakfast. We met up again at 2pm all dressed up nicely, ate canapés and exchanged presents. At 4pm we started the epic journey of an 8-course dinner. We had an interval at 7.30 just before the main course for our mid-winter broadcast. This is the only time of the year the BBC World Services transmits in a way that we can pick it up. They put together a 30min show for all British bases with the songs of our choices, maybe a celebrity we asked for and most importantly messages from our loved ones at home – quite special and emotional.
Sabrina Heiser, Rothera Marine Assistant

Crew: Mairi Fenton (Marine Assistant for the Dutch collaboration), Petra Mildeova (Meteorologist)

Rothera is a British Antarctic Survey research station, located on Adelaide Island on the Antarctic Peninsula at 67° South.

The whole team with the presents (Photo: Chris Walton)