The CUSTARD team met for their first major science meeting since the two cruises (DY111 and DY112) to the Southern Ocean in December 2019 and January 2020. It provided an opportunity for everyone to hear about, and discuss, data and preliminary results of sample analyses already available from the cruise. Of course, it had to be held virtually rather than in person, but despite the limitations of a Zoom workshop, discussions were lively and productive.
Four half day sessions were held over the course of a week. The first three sessions matched onto the first three workpackages in addressing the seasonal chemical cycles (including the air-sea carbon flux), the impact of these on growing phytoplankton populations, and how deep this new organic material may penetrate into the ocean. Modelling aspects of the project were included in each session to keep modelling and observation work integrated. Work package leads refreshed our memories with the original aims of the project before handing over to members of the team to present their recent findings, with plenty of time available for questions and discussions. The final session of the week was a cross work-package session which included prioritising work for the coming months and links to other projects.
It was good to hear how much progress has been made, despite the delays and difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The team are now looking forward to a follow up workshop in Spring 2021.