Delivery of the reefer container in Wilhelmshaven.  

AleutBio sample logistic - A story of two containers, Atlantic crossing and the German Autobahn

Hello dear friends,

after a while of silence, here is a little update from the AleutBio team in Frankfurt. We were not idle, but quite busy with all the logistical imponderables that such a transport from Canada to Germany brings with it. Just one thing in advance: The containers have arrived and the processing of the samples can finally begin on a grand scale!

To be more precise, the reefer container with the cooled samples arrived in Wilhelmshaven on 28.10.2022 at 12:23 noon. So, it was here that the expedition participants from Wilhelmshaven, Hamburg and Frankfurt had their first major joyful get-together since our departure in Vancouver in September. All too quickly the samples were unloaded from the container and stowed in the respective vehicles for further transport to the various institutes. Yet, the way home to Frankfurt was quite long. After 6 hours of driving, including traffic jams and construction sites, the samples finally arrived at their new home in Frankfurt. Another 2 hours and a late evening temperature alarm later, the loading into the -20 degree freezers was finally done – all in all a very long and exhausting day!

This was also the moment we had been looking forward to for a long time and the starting signal for the systematic processing of the samples. With a master student, a bachelor student and 4 student assistants, as well as a volunteer, our team in Frankfurt has grown considerably. And while we started with the training and sorting of the samples in Frankfurt, the second container with our expedition equipment finally arrived (the date had been postponed 4 times in total).

On 16.11.2022 the second container finally arrived in Wilhelmshaven. So everything again from the beginning: from Frankfurt to Wilhelmshaven, almost 500 km, 6 hours driving time, traffic jam, highway closure near Lüdenscheid (somewhere in the middle of nowhere). In Wilhelmshaven everything went very fast, the complete container unpacked and our car packed in just over an hour. Then it was back on the long way home towards Frankfurt. Unfortunately, the traffic situation had not changed (traffic jam, highway closure, diversion…), so we arrived again after pretty much exactly 6 hours safe and sound in Frankfurt.

The time after the expedition has flown by and now Christmas is already around the corner. Together with our students we have finally been able to pick up speed and every day more and more organisms are picked from the deep-sea sediment (and even several new isopod species have already been discovered!) and added to the database. Bit by bit, the staff members are saying goodbye to the Christmas break, in order to hit the ground running in the New Year! But first we wish you a happy and relaxed Christmas. And look forward to the next update!

Best regards from the AleutBio Team Frankfurt,

Andreas, Steffi, Davide, Katharina, Laura, Derya, Stefanie, Maria, Katharina and Angelika!

Unloaded samples in the parking lot in Wilhelmshaven.
Unpacking the second container in Wilhelmshaven. .
The obligatory group selfie of Eli while unpacking the second container.
Katharina Kohlenbach, master’s candidate and student assistant in the AleutBio project, sorting samples.
Derya Akdogan, bachelor candidate and student assistant in the AleutBio project, sorting samples.
Laura Spies, bachelor candidate, during literature research for her description of a new isopod species from the Aleutian Trench.
Katharina Schienbein, student assistant in the AleutBio project, sorting samples.
The Frankfurt AleutBio Team at lunch – neatly decimated by the approaching Christmas vacations.