Martina from Argentina receives IAATO Fellowship to come to Scripps

Congratulations to Martina Mascioni who is one of the recipients of the first IAATO Antarctic Fellowship!

Martina is currently a graduate student (PhD) from the University of La Plata, Argentina, and with this fellowship she will be able to will come to Scripps Institution of Oceanography to visit Dr. Maria Vernet and Allison Cusick in the Vernet lab to continue advancing the work through FjordPhyto citizen science project.

This fellowship is a joint enterprise between IAATO and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP), that invest in the professional development of talented early career researchers connecting students and project teams between Antarctic Treaty countries.

Martina demonstrated a deep understanding of IAATO’s mission and how her research will further IAATO’s mission to practice safe, environmentally responsible private-sector Antarctic travel. With the help of citizen scientists through FjordPhyto, she is trying to find out what tiny organisms exist around the western Antarctic Peninsula fjords, passages, islands and coastal areas sampled by IAATO-member vessels every summer.

Knowing the types of small organisms belonging to the phytoplankton community matter, they feed krill which feeds whales, penguin, and seals. If phytoplankton communities change due to climate change, we want to know that! Before that, however, we have to know very well who is there. This is what Martina will try to achieve through this awarded fellowship. 

She is currently in her third year of PhD thesis work focused on Antarctic phytoplankton (microalgae) diversity, dynamics, and ecology. 

Although Martina has gained vast expertise in Antarctic microalgae, she has never been to Antarctica (YET). She can’t wait to go on a vessel to discover the white continent someday soon.

This fellowship will open opportunities, strengthen international capacity and cooperation, and contribute to the understanding of human activity in Antarctica for many years to come. She’s very excited about this fellowship to get started.

Follow us to know the cutting-edge discoveries she is going to make!