Return of the Wood Fall

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.

3 comments on “Return of the Wood Fall
  1. Pingback: Return of the Wood Fall | Rocketboom

  2. Pingback: The Second World That Forms On Sunken Trees – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science

  3. Makes me want to ask if a tree falls in the deep ocean, does it make a sound? (But I won’t ask).

    Seriously, it is interesting to find the great diversity of organisms (many apparently undescribed species) coming to these wood falls, mostly as a food source and a habitat on which to complete life cycles. Raises the question as to how the various larval stages find these wood falls. Are there larvae just “floating” around at depth, waiting for some fortuitous wood fall to occur? Are they drawn in from some distance by chemical cues? Same questions exist for whale falls and even new/developing deep sea vents. Lots to learn yet.

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