11th edition of ‘Pool tot Pool dag’ – 11 March 2017

On March 11th 2017 the 11th edition of ‘Pool tot Pool dag’ was held in the Museum of Ethnology in Leiden. ‘Pool tot Pool dag’ is a yearly returning polar outreach event organised by Jack Kauw, Michelle van Dijk and Frieda van Essen, where people from different disciplines in polar research/art present their work for a broadly (but polar 😉 ) oriented audience.

This year there were again several interesting presentations in the field of the polar areas by Dr. Peter Bijl, Floris van den Berg, Heather Carroll and Dr. Ingrid Tulp.

The day was opened by this year’s chairwoman Anneke de Leeuw, after which there were short pitch poster presentations by Douwe Maat and Sebastiaan Koppelle. Douwe introduced the poster of APECS Netherlands to the audience and Sebastiaan presented some of his work on the effects of glacial melting, consequent sediment transport and its effect on the grazing capacity of zooplankton on phytoplankton in Kongsfjorden, Spitsbergen (Svalbard), which he did in association with Douwe Maat and Corina Brussaard (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, NIOZ). See their posters here (IN DUTCH):


After these short poster pitches, Jack Kauw took over and introduced the posters made and work done by his high school students Irene Thoma, Jeroen Briefjes & Lars Bonouvrié and Mees van Rhijn.

Jeroen and Lars worked on the reconstruction of a whale oil oven in Smeerenburg, which eventually led to the development of a 3D maquette of how this old whale oven and surrounding buildings should have looked like based on the still existing remnants.

Irene Thoma and Mees van Rhijn were also present themselves and presented their posters after Jack’s introduction.

Irene Thoma her poster was about the ‘Golden Ratio’ that can be found everywhere in architecture, art, the human body and nature and which represents the perfect relationship between two line segments of 1 : 1,618. Irene asked herself whether this Golden Ratio would also be present in the antlers of Svalbard Reindeer and if so, how often you can find this Golden Ratio in these antlers. Moreover, since the Golden Ratio is known for its perfection, she also wondered whether reindeer antlers that have the Golden Ratio, are also seen as more attractive by people.

After the poster presentation by Irene, Mees van Rhijn took the stage to talk about his work on the colour of the polar bear fur. Mees studied what causes the decolouration of the polar bear fur from clean and white when they are cubs to sometimes off white, yellow and even red/brown like in adult bears. Several possible explanations were put to the test among which were :the exposure to UV-light, attachment of seal blubber during eating, the level of carotene in the bears hairs, aging and the presence of iron-oxidizing bacteria.

Their work, approach, results and conclusions can be read in the posters below (IN DUTCH):

After the poster presentations Dr. Peter Bijl presented his work on the stability of the East-Antarctic ice sheet in the past with corresponding CO2 levels. By studying the past, information on potential future scenarios and ice sheet stability can be gained which could be important in predicting how the ice sheet will react to climate change and future increases of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Peter also emphasized the difficulties associated with predicting future ice sheet melt scenarios as there is a strong mismatch between the output of theoretical computed models and actual observations. (Peter is Assistent Professor ‘Applied Biostratigraphy’ in the Department of Earth Sciences of Utrecht University and the director of the LPP Foundation).Unfortunately, APECS board members Douwe and Sebastiaan had to leave after Peter’s talk, but more very interesting talks were given by Floris van den Berg, Heather Carroll and Ingrid Tulp!

Check out this video (IN DUTCH) of Floris van den Berg and the work he performed at Concordia station in the Antarctic for the European Space Agency (ESA)! (Little spoiler… it is pretty extreme!)


For more information on the talks have a look at the Pool tot Pool dag website!: http://www.pooltotpool.nl/2017.html .


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