Category Archives: ARAMACC Science

Clams’ climate secrets prove elusive in the Arctic

Al Wanamaker and undergrad Aubrey Foulk sort through piles of Arctica islandica on a stormy beach.

Al Wanamaker and undergrad Aubrey Foulk sort through piles of Arctica islandica washed onto a beach after a storm.

This is the third and final post in the Discover magazine series by Randall Hyman about the Arctica fieldwork off Northern Norway.

This week, our heroes get some tantalizing results from 550 ft (166 metres) and find shedloads of shells blown onto a beach after a storm.

Reading between the lines

Irene with dye

Irene Ballesta Artero pouring dye into the clam’s containers before deployment.  The non-toxic dye will mark the shell with the time of deployment.

Here’s the second post in the Discover magazine series on climate work with Arctica islandica off northern Norway.   Al Wanamaker and Michael Carroll are looking for the most northerly populations of Arctica islandica, living at depths up to 180 metres.

Rob Witbaard and Irene Ballesta are also up there, deploying clams wired with activity loggers to look in great detail at the environmental factors driving shell growth.

You can also read about raised beaches, thought to be about 6,000 years old, that are covered with ancient shells.









Rob Witbaard and Michael Carroll help Captain Thorleif Hanssen redeploy Rob’s clam experiment.












Dead Clams Talking

There’s an excellent series in Discover magazine on climate work with Arctica off northern Norway.  ARAMACC ESR Irene Ballesta is out there right now, with Rob Witbaard, Al Wanamaker, Michael Carroll and other researchers from Bates College in the US.

Read the first post here


ARAMNACC student Irene Ballesta and Bates College student Maddie Mette examine specimens of Arctica islandica just collected at the study site off northern Norway


ARAMACC is underway!

ARAMACC is now underway.

 10 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) have now been appointred or are about to be appointed at six centres across Europe.  Each ESR position is attached to a host university for the award of a PhD.

The ESRs will be trained in the full range of skills associated with shell-ring research   (sclerochronology), including climate reconstruction, climate modelling, biological and environmental drivers of shell growth, and novel geochemical proxies.

From the point of view of the relatively new science of sclerochronology, ARAMACC presents a great opportunity to move the field forward with an injection of new blood and new ideas.  

The ESRs will working on projects based around four broad application groups (Work Packages 1-4):

WP 1.       Five projects involving shell-based chronology construction and the reconstruction of marine variability in the northeast Atlantic region (based at Bergen, Norway (x2), Bangor, UK (x2) and Brest, France)

WP 2.       One project working with aplications to climate modelling applications (based at Helmholtz-Zentrum, Geesthacht, Germany)

WP 3.       Two  projects will focus on the biological and environmental drivers of shell growth (based at NIOZ, Netherlands, and at IOF, Split, Croatia)

WP 4.       Two projects will involve the development of novel shell proxies (trace element incorporation and shell crystal fabrics; both based at Mainz, Germany)