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The Scotia Arc expeditions
This expedition will take a journey along the northern part of the Scotia Arc – a series of islands and ridges that used to join Antarctica and South America. This multi-expedition research is a partnership between Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Australian Museum.
Thanks to a grant by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Australian Museum’s Dr Nerida Wilson and her colleagues from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have already conducted two five-week research expeditions to collect animals from different habitats, with the most recent trip conducted in early 2013.
The research findings produced from these expeditions aims to understand whether animals also use these places as a series of ‘stepping stones’ to travel between these continents, and how this might change in the future.
"The geological history of this area has created perfect field conditions for testing theories about connectivity, speciation and the effects of climate change", said Dr Wilson. "In this study, we’re asking whether the Arc acts as a series of stepping stones for the distribution of organisms, allowing gene flow between populations, and whether barriers might lead to the formation of new species."