Deep Sea Biology
Riftia tube worms in diffuse venting at a hydrothermal vent. (Photo: WHOI)
A hermit crab with anemone riding on his shell near Indonesia. (Photo: Okeanos Explorer, NOAA)
My lab focuses on the biology of the deep sea. Part of the time, we put on our ocean exploration hats and search for new habitats and new sites where life exists in deep sea, out of reach of light and under extreme amounts of pressure. We spend the rest of our time studying the animals that we find in the deep. We try to understand the evolutionary relationships between animals that live in the deep sea and the animals we are more accustomed to in shallower water, or trying to figure out how closely related populations of deep-sea invertebrates are to each other. The need to conserve deep-water species is just as great as the need to conserve shallow-water species but we know so little about these strange and beautiful places, that the task is often daunting.
Last updated: September 4, 2012