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Images: Settling on the Seafloor

Biologist Stace Beaulieu from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution packed winter clothes for an expedition to the equatorial Pacific to work in a shipboard lab with the temperature set to 2?C (35?F). The cold temperature prevented decomposition of microbes and larvae that settled on experimental panels retrieved from the seafloor. This would foul the research. (Lauren Mullineaux, WHOI)

At the experiment site at the Tica Vent on the East Pacific Rise in 2004, basalt panels were placed in the center of a tubeworm colony. The blue T-handle in the lower center of the photo shows the location of one of the sensors deployed to measure chemicals, acidity, and temperature at the site. (Photo by Stace Beaulieu, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Scientists Stace Beaulieu (left), Naomi Ward of The Institute for Genomic Research, and Breea Govenar of Pennsylvania State University wear gloves to keep panels used to collect colonizing seafloor larvae free of human bacteria that could contaminate research experiments. Their work was done in May and June 2005 during an expedition to the Galapagos Rift. (Photo by Amy Nevala, WHOI)