Pose A Question

puzzled-question-mark.gifSo once again, things are slow and I ask you to suggest some questions/topics.  Just put them in the comments and Peter and I will do are best to answer them.  You may want to keep the questions deep sea related or you will be forced to read our ramblings on matters we have no idea about!

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.


14 Replies to “Pose A Question”

  1. What are your (research) interests? I personally tend to find some of the more exotic deep sea communities interesting– hydrothermal vent communities, whale falls, and life at the poles.

  2. Perhaps Peter can elaborate on the function of sweeper tentacles on certain types of bamboo corals. I’d love to see some pictures too. :-)

  3. Today I learned that squid eggs have some sort of bacterial coating that seems to protect them from rotting and (possibly) predation. And the bacteria are secreted by the mother squid.
    Uh, so my question is, isn’t that freaking cool? I don’ really have an actual question. I’m curious how such a symbiotic relationship could have evolved and whether such things are seen in other cephalopods, but I suspect the answer to the first is your guess is as good as mine and the answer to the second is no.

  4. My question really comes from my students. Is/Are there things we can do to help save our marine life. We live inland, but want to find out what we can do to help. They also want to know if any of the marine life was harmed from all the smoke from the California fires. Oh, and I have one student who wants to know if you have got to meet Jeff Corwin. I guess he saw him on tv standing in front of the aquarium.
    Thanks

  5. At the cellular/molecular level, just how big an issue is pressure for deep-sea creatures? Do enzymes that work fine at the surface fail in the deep and vice versa? Or is this not an issue?

  6. Yes, following on Michaels question, many people assume that deep sea critters die when brought up from the depths because of the change in pressure. But aren’t they mostly made of incompressible fluids? I think many people analogizing from the experience of gas-filled, scuba diving humans. As I have heard it explained, it is actually the change in temperature that kills deep sea creatures. How much of a factor is temperature in their enzymatic activity? What prevents us from keeping deep sea creatures for long periods in captivity? Is it just a matter of collection techniques. I suppose light-sensitivity would also be an issue for these animals. Dr. Tamara Frank has done quite a bit of research in that matter.

  7. I’ll try and put together a little deep sweeper tentacle expose, just for Mercer. Pictures, too. Thanks for the question.

  8. I’m taking an Invertebrate Biodiversity class right now, and have really be intrigued by all of the amazing benthic fauna. I have one question, though, and my professor admitted to not knowing the answer: how to soft-bodied benthic organisms withstand the immense pressure from being on the bottom of the ocean? It seems like pressures capable of collapsing human lungs would similarly squish soft invertebrate bodies, why is this not the case?

  9. Thanks, I apologize I was in a hurry this morning and didn’t review the other questions before posting. Those links were a huge help, I appreciate it!

  10. Blondie,
    Are there things we can do to help save our marine life. We live inland, but want to find out what we can do to help.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deepseanews/2007/11/how_to_save_the_ocean.php

    They also want to know if any of the marine life was harmed from all the smoke from the California fires.

    Probably Not

    Oh, and I have one student who wants to know if you have got to meet Jeff Corwin. I guess he saw him on tv standing in front of the aquarium.
    Nope

  11. Today I learned that squid eggs have some sort of bacterial coating that seems to protect them from rotting and (possibly) predation. And the bacteria are secreted by the mother squid. Uh, so my question is, isn’t that freaking cool? I don’ really have an actual question. I’m curious how such a symbiotic relationship could have evolved and whether such things are seen in other cephalopods, but I suspect the answer to the first is your guess is as good as mine and the answer to the second is no.

    .

    The research you speak of is by David Epel. To date, I believe the are still trying to figure out the answer to your first question. To the latter, the website below states Epel has fount this in numerous other squid.

    http://www-csgc.ucsd.edu/STORIES/SquidRepro.html

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