RV Sonne sets sail from Dutch Harbor, signaling the beginning of the Aleutbio expedition and project.  


Hello dear readers,

Here we are, right in the middle – just like on an oceanic voyage when half the journey is done. Though we haven’t hoisted colourful flags in the wind, after a year full of adventures, it’s time to pause briefly and take a look at what we’ve discovered so far.

You’ve probably heard of the term “Bergfest.” While it doesn’t directly come from the maritime world, it’s often used to mark the turning point of a journey – whether out at sea or in our little adventure called “AleutBio.” Our journey started in July 2022 in Dutch Harbor, and after six exciting and industrious weeks, it found its provisional end in Vancouver. Since then, none of us have felt the salty seawater under our feet, but instead, we’ve delved into a true ocean of information and, above all, samples. Our goal? To uncover hidden treasures of knowledge and dive into the depths of various subjects.

Here are a few highlights from our adventure so far:

  • Two bachelor’s theses were written and successfully completed (Derya’s work was finished just this week!).
  • A master’s thesis has taken shape and was submitted by Katharina in July.
  • Several publications have seen the light of day, while others are being worked on tirelessly.
  • We’ve sifted through countless EBS samples and extracted a wide range of organisms from them (a huge thank you to the helping hands of three interns, a volunteer supporter, and four student helpers).
  • We participated in three national and international conferences, sharing our knowledge with fellow researchers.
  • Not to forget: Countless meetings, endless emails, and samples sent across the globe.

Although half of our journey is now behind us, the best is definitely still ahead. To be precise, we have another twelve months to delve even deeper into the treasures of knowledge, discover new species, and bring our numerous ideas to life.

We sincerely thank you for accompanying us on this exciting journey. Together, we’re steering toward the next stage!

Warm regards, Steffi, Andreas, Davide, Freddy & Angelika

Half-way through: A visual journey through the Aleutbio project – capturing moments from oceanic beginnings, marine landscapes and hands-on fieldwork to laboratory analysis, international meetings and marine discoveries.