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Holger Jannasch

Pioneer Investigator of Deep-Sea Bacteria

Microbiologist Holger Jannasch (1927-1998), shown in his lab about 1966, is remembered for making seminal discoveries in microbial ecology and launching the new field of deep-sea microbiology. He began studying bacterial metabolism in the high pressure and low temperature of the deep sea  after seeing that lunches left for months on the seafloor when Alvin sank didn't decompose. He was also among the first to study life and chemosynthetic bacteria at hydrothermal vents. During his long career at WHOI, Jannasch traveled the world and made 35 research cruises and 23 Alvin dives. "Science is an adventure, not a career," he said. (Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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