Born in Holzminden, Germany, on May 23, 1927, Holger Jannasch pioneered the field of deep-sea microbiology.
Inspired by the condition of the food in the infamous Alvin
lunch box (1969), Jannasch and his WHOI colleagues conducted the first
experiments on microbial decomposition in the deep sea. He would design
sophisticated instruments for collecting and culturing bacteria from
the ocean floor. After the discovery of deep-ocean hydrothermal vents in the late 1970s,
Jannasch confirmed his early theory of the existence of deep-sea
As he once said: "Science is an adventure, not a career." Jannasch passed away in 1998, but his work lives on at WHOI.
(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)