PhD candidate Gulnara Nigamatzyanova conducts unique research in the Arctic.
Only several researchers in the world specialize in monitoring the freshwater waterbodies of both poles. Ms. Nigamatzyanova, a Junior Research Associate at the Institute of Geology and Petroleum Techologies, has been engaged in this work since her 3rd year at the University.
In October 2015 she returned from Sakha where for three straight years she worked as a part of joint Russian-German team “Lena Delta” at the Samoylovsky Island Research Station. The projects has been in action since 1998 but the ultra-modern station was established only in 2013 by the personal decree of President Vladimir Putin.
Ms. Nigamatzyanova's thesis is called «Zooplankton of the arctic and subarctic waterbodies in Sakha Republic». She studies the fauna of local waterbodies, water quality, water ecosystems of the region. The goal is to predict the influence of climate change on the water invertebrates.
Local fauna has unique adaptability – the climate is pretty extreme, with short summers, low temperatures, high ultraviolet radiation levels, low nutrient count. The species composition, qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the zooplankton allow researchers to assess the conditions in waterbodies and their possible evolution.
Why is it important to go so far to study? As the young scientist says, anthropogenic influence there is miniscule, water is very clean and can be drunk without heat treatment. Therefore, climate change consequences here are uninhibited by other factors.
Ms. Nigamatzyanova research consultant – Associate Professor Larissa Frolova – has the same areas of interest. “Our research is complementary. By studying the water fauna of past and present we can predict future”, says the PhD candidate.
Ms. Nigamatzyanova also confessed that work in the Arctic areas is pretty challenging. However, she would never switch to something else because she very much enjoys being the pioneer in her science.