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).
— Craig McClain, Ph.D. (@DrCraigMc) May 25, 2017
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