Thanks George Bush!


Yellow sponge (Staurocalyptus sp. nov.), basket star (Gorgonocephalus sp.), white ruffle sponge (Farrea occa), and white-branched sponge (Asbestopluma sp. nov.) on the Davidson Seamount at 1316 meters.

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary will be a little bigger in the near future.  Speaking at the Smithsonian’s new Ocean Hall exhibit on Friday, President Bush vowed to proceed with the long-awaited expansion of the sanctuary to include Davidson Seamount.

The is a really exciting time for me as much of my recent research involves characterizing the biological communities and ecological processes at Davidson.  Davidson rises 2500m off the seafloor with its summit still 1250m below the ocean’s surface.  The seamount is one of the largest in U.S. territorial waters and the first topographic feature to be named a seamount. 

Davidson is a wonderful place with relatively pristine communities dominated by fields of corals and groves of sponges.  You can visit the MBNMS site for tons of images or read up about the research and monitoring projects occuring here (including mine). Below the fold is a Youtube video that describes Davidson Seamount further.

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 (, 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.

3 Replies to “Thanks George Bush!”

  1. Killer basket star! Are you guys doing pop gen along the western US seamouts?? It seems like a great system to study gene flow and invasion.

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