Yew Wen Chyin, Universiti Malaya (UM)

Yew Wen Chyin, Universiti Malaya (UM)

Current Location: Signy Research Station, Antarctica

Project Title: The Relationships Between Penguins’ Diet and Gut Microflora, and the Influences to Their Habitat

Partner: Bristish Antarctic Survey

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Week 8 : A stunning Chinese New Year in Antarctica

31st Jan – 6th Feb

The week of Chinese New Year was welcomed with stunning weather. However, I did not have holiday on Chinese New Year. The 2nd chinstrap penguin diet sampling had fall on the 30th Jan (Chinese New Year Eve), and I had been working overnight that day, and more laboratory work to do on the next day. Still, I was pleased that I could find some time for baking cookies to get my stomach satisfied. Well eventually, on the 6th Feb (the 7th day of Chinese New Year), we had the yusheng meal (raw fish salad, a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigour) as a starter of our dinner for celebration.

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Week 7 : The Terrifying Fur Seals

24th – 30th Jan

People might think it should be easy out to the field to collect samples but now I can tell you that this is not true especially field sampling in the coldest, driest and windiest place: Antarctica. Apart from difficulties walking on deep snow and slippery rocks, and burning feel on my fingers while collecting samples due to the freezing temperature, I also have to beware of the terrifying fur seals. It would be very unpleasant if I got bitten by them as they have sharp teeth and their saliva is full with germs. There were more than hundreds of them along the penguin pathway in Gourlay this week.

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Week 6 : SAR Exercise

BAS emphasise a lot on the safety issues. There was a first aid refreshment talk and a search and rescue (SAR) exercise on the 18th Jan. In the SAR exercise, I acted as a casualty who lad loss contacts during my way to the field, whereas other people were separated into two teams. Team 1 was responsible for searching the casualty. Once the casualty was located, they examined casualty’s condition and reported it to the base commander. Team 2 was then carried with them an insulated casualty bag, cascade stretcher, technical equipment and static rope rucksacks to assist Team 1.

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