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Joan Bernhard preparing sediment sample

Searching for Life in All the Odd Places

Joan Bernhard, a geobiologist in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at WHOI, prepares a sample of seafloor sediment for analysis. Bernhard studies the single-celled eukaryotic organisms (protists) that live on and in the seafloor. She is especially interested in the adaptations that allow some protists to live in extreme environments that are toxic for most eukaryotes. This fall she will supervise the sediment sampling during a Dive & Discover cruise to the Mediterranean to look for life in deep brine pools that are up to 10 times saltier than normal seawater, lack oxygen, and often contain toxic sulfides. (Photo by Joanne Eberhardt)


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