Rob King at Polar Palooza, Sydney
Rob King at Polar Palooza, Sydney

Australian Antarctic Division marine scientist, Rob King, understands the dangers of increasing acidification of world oceans.

‘It’s the children who need to understand the science’, says Rob, ‘so they can educate their parents, and do things differently themselves. Not many people know about acidification’, he says, ‘and yet this is of more immediate concern than the huge problem of sea levels rising’.

Krill are key to the health of the ocean’s ecosystem. Normal krill development is threatened by acidification.

The plankton, coccolithophorids are major sequestors of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. Acidification of the oceans is threatening these. Australian Antarctic Division, 2009

To help to communicate his knowledge, Rob displays the animations How do krill grow?, and Krill watching, during his tour with Polar Palooza.

Rob said that when I drew live krill for just one day, at the Australian Antarctic Division (early last year), I probably saw them more than he ever has, during all the years he has worked with them. As a krill scientist he is busy with experiments and data analysis; there is no time to observe krill behaviour. The krill animations I made from direct observations were of value, he said, for helping connect people to his scientific presentations.