Reddit AMA (Saturday May 27th): DSN on a boat, throwing wood in the ocean!

UPDATE (5/27): Here’s our Reddit AMA link – ask us anything about deep-sea science! https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/6dng31/i_am_a_marine_scientist_im_on_a_boat_right_now_in/

WE’RE ON A BOAT! That’s right, The Blogfather Dr. M and myself (Dr. Bik, Assistant Blogmaster?) are in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico AT THIS VERY MOMENT!

To celebrate this awesome scientific cruise, we’re running a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session Tomorrow, Saturday May 27th from 8AM – 8PM Central Standard Time (Louisiana, USA time zone).

Why are we here? Well Dr. M has a nifty new NSF grant to research wood falls in the deep oceans; logs and whole trees that saturate with water and sink to the deep-sea floor. These wooden carcasses bring a rare commodity to the deep sea devoid of light and plants: food. On the seafloor, these wood falls are covered in unique marine invertebrates wholly adapted to eating wood.

As part of this work, Dr. M is also collecting sediment cores, which I’ll be using to isolate nematodes for environmental sequencing and genomics work.

But there is a whole team of people here on the boat, and you can ask them anything too! Our scientific cast is:

Dr. Craig McClain, a deep-sea biologist, DSN Blogfather, and the Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON).
– Dr. Clif Nunnally (LUMCON) – Research Associate, Actual Person in Charge of the cruise
– Chase Landry (LUMCON/Nicholls State) – Undergraduate Researcher, Cajun Translator
– Dr. Virginia Schutte (LUMCON)- Media Officer, unfortunately a Morning Person
– Dr. Thomas Webb (U. of Sheffield) – Statistical Guru, “All the gear, no idear” (he’s British)
– Dr. Holly Bik (U. California Riverside) – Microbial Genomics and nematode taxonomy, bringing high fashion to the high seas
– River Dixon (U. South Carolina) – Undergraduate Researcher, has no idea what she signed up for
– Jason Bradley (Bradley Photographic) – Photographer, probably has kissed more sea animals than you
– Chase Lawson (Texas A&M) – Undergraduate Researcher, literally just spent 2 hours handling raw meat
– Dr. Alicia Caporaso (Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management) – Underwater Archaeologist, studies shipwrecks but can’t touch them

Holly Bik (160 Posts)

I am a computational biologist at the University of California, Riverside. My research uses DNA sequencing and genomics to study microbial eukaryotes (yeah, nematodes!) in marine ecosystems, with an emphasis on evolution and biodiversity in the deep-sea. I can neither confirm nor deny that I like Unix more than I like going to sea.


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