March 19, 2019

Research cruise log update: Guaymas Basin

Posted by larryohanlon

Updates from the current cruise of the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor: Microbial mysteries — linking microbial communities and environmental drivers  


March 13: Tubeworms – Microbial Mysteries Video Update

In exploring the hydrothermal vent ecosystems on this #MicrobialMysteries expedition, the researchers have seen many colonies of tubeworms. These are amazing creatures: tubeworms may be the fastest growing marine invertebrates on Earth, and in the deep sea they can grow up to 2 meters tall.

They are mouthless, gutless, and get all their energy from symbiotic bacteria that live inside them. Their beautiful branched plumes function like modified gills, taking in sulfide and oxygen from their environment. Like trees and plants on land, tubeworms absorb carbon dioxide, and the bacteria they host processes it into organic matter. How this unusual symbiosis works in the deep sea is a real mystery. Find out more in the video update below:


March 14: Landers and In Situ Sensors – Video Update

“The time here is precious, and we are here to maximize that.”
SOI has been deploying various landers and samplers to do in situ experiments – tests in the original location of the data, not back in a laboratory. The goal of using these types of technology is to maximize the collection of different types of information from this unusual area. “We can get more results. We can add more pieces to the puzzle that is Understanding The Ocean.”

How? Why? Check out the video for answers.


March 15: Animation Versus Oil Paint

I intend take my experience on Falkor and morph it into a playable game or interactive fiction for people to learn more about ocean research. I have experimented in creating animations and pictures, as I believe digital arts have great potential in sharing understanding. With animation, a concept can be illustrated with motion, humour, and visual metaphors. (Read more

Oil Painting Of A Tower With Mirror Flange by Artist-at-Sea Annabel Slater. Credit: Annabel Slater

These posts were originally published on the Schmidt Ocean Institute blog