Pacific Northwest Expedition


Just a reminder that Chris Mah (from Echinoblog) and I will participating in Leg 5 of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s expedition to the northern Pacific. Leg 5 of the expedition, starting Friday of this week, focuses on sampling lava flows that erupted during historic time on the Juan de Fuca and Gorda Mid-Ocean Ridges, and comparing them with the surrounding, older flows. Chris and I will be leading the biological sampling focusing on how the communities on older flows vary from those younger flows. We will be trying to address questions such as: How much time is required for a deep-sea community to form? As lava flows become older do the provide new habitats for organisms? How do the species found at volcanic ridges compare to the surrounding seamounts? Overall a great trip. You can follow Chris and I through daily posts and pinpoint our daily location.

Map of the dive sites visited on leg 5 of the expedition.  Map courtesy of MBARI

Map of the dive sites visited on leg 5 of the expedition. Map courtesy of MBARI

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. 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. 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 (, 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. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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