Researchers


     

Leg 2 Researchers

Click on any name below to read an interview.

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Albert Bradley

Antoine Page

Debra Stakes

Paul Emsbo

Chris Preston

Margaret K. (Meg) Tivey

Randolph A. Koski

Tony Ramirez Geoff Wheat

Paul McGill

Anna-Louise Reysenbach

Alejandro Ortega Osorio Jeffrey Seewald



Albert Bradley (top of page)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Principal Engineer
http://www.whoi.edu/

What is your role on this cruise?
I'm here to assist Dr. Margaret Tivey and to make sure her instruments work correctly.

What are your primary goals?
Keep scientists happy.
 

What do you expect to find?
If we knew, we wouldn't need to come out to sea!
 

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
Favorite: working with a batch of really fantastic people.

Least: not getting enough sleep! 

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc.?
a) I am genetically compelled to build things (an engineer)

b) I saw Cousteau's 1st movie, Silent World, and Disney's version of Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at age 11. I spent the rest of my youth trying to build submarines. 

How did you become one?
Starting with Tinkertoys, Erector sets, electronics kits, I just kept making things. Now, here I am.

Brief bio: Al Bradley was born near Philadelphia in 1944. He was educated by his parents and a long series of exasperated teachers including those at Cornell (where he received a BS and MS in Engineering Physics in ‘66 & ‘67) and at MIT where he received his PhD in Ocean Engineering in ‘73. After a brief post doc position at MIT, he came to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in '74 where he is currently classified as a principal engineer. His research interests include acoustic systems, ocean sensor systems and platforms, control systems and autonomous research vehicles. He distrusts any computer that has more than 64 Kbytes of memory. 


Paul Emsbo (top of page)
U.S. Geological Survey


Randolph A. Koski (top of page)
Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey
  http://minerals.usgs.gov/west/

What is your role on this cruise?
During the cruise, I will participate in the surveying and sampling of the seafloor surrounding high-temperature vent sites. I will prepare samples of hydrothermal deposits and sediment for analytical work following the cruise. I will examine hydrothermal precipitates and sediment for hydrocarbons, and I will collect gases from sediment cores. After the cruise, I will be responsible for petrographic and
microanalytical investigations of low-temperature and weathered mineral deposits, bulk chemistry of hydrothermal and sediment samples, and analyses of hydrocarbons. 

What are your primary goals?
We would like to develop a video mosaic of the vent field that will serve as a geologic map. With this map and additional survey and sample data, it is our goal to develop a unified 3D model for hydrothermal, sedimentological, and biogenic processes at the scale of the vent field. I want to learn more about the distribution of hydrocarbons and linkages between fluid flow, hydrothermal petroleum, mineral deposits, and microbial habitat.
 

What do you expect to find?
Based on previous cruises to Guaymas Basin, we will find hot fluids with temperatures near or somewhat above 300°C venting from high-rise mineral towers with a spectacular variety of shapes. The mineral deposits will be surrounded by discolored sediment, mineral crusts, and white to yellow bacterial mats. Large tubeworms and clams will inhabit sites where low-temperature fluids seep through the sediment. It will be colorful. There will be some surprises. 

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My favorite part: The observation of ocean floor never seen before; also, the recovery of the vehicle and the first direct look at the samples. My least favorite part: Lost time due to bad weather.
 

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc.? How did you become one?
I grew up on a farm in Minnesota, and spent most of my youth outdoors and literally "in the field." I have always been excited by exploration and travel. In college, I was inspired by several geology professors-they were "different" from other teachers. They went (exploring!) on field trips to mountains and rivers, to all kinds of places I had never been before. After two or three geology classes, I was hooked. 

Later, I became interested in the geology of all kinds of mineral deposits, but especially deposits formed by hydrothermal processes. Ocean ridges are great natural laboratories for studying hydrothermal phenomena, and I was fortunate, in the early 1980s, to have an opportunity to participate in the discovery of active vents, mineral deposits, and amazing biology on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. The exploration continues. 


Paul McGill (top of page)
MBARI Electrical Engineer
  http://www.mbari.org/staff/mcgill/ 

 

 

 





Alejandro Ortega-Osorio (Alex) (top of page)
Associated Researcher, Mexican Petroleum Institute

Co-instructor of Chemical Oceanography at the Graduate School, UNAM
 

What is your role on this cruise?
Scientist in the field of Marine Geochemistry
 

What are your primary goals?
Full characterization of suspended particulate matter associated to natural emissions of hydrocarbons in the Gulf of California.
 

What do you expect to find?
This research will help to better understand fluid migration in marine sediments. Besides, if distinct particulate matter were found, we would tell more about the formation of hydrocarbons and their relationship with the marine sediments.
 

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My favorite part of being in a cruise is: Being in the middle of the sea.

The worst part of any cruise is to get seasick and realised is still a month to be back on land. 

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc?
Well, likewise many others, myself fell in love with the sea as well. As a child, I always wondered how this big reservoir, called “ocean”, contained so much water and why was so salty? So then, it took me some years to be able to understand the answers...
 

How did you become one?
I studied Chemical Engineering at the National University of Mexico, after that I did a Master degree in Chemical Oceanography at the Marine Sciences Institute of the UNAM.
 

Then, I decided to apply and to enroll into the Graduate School at the University of Toronto, Canada, so I spent some years at the Marine Geology Research Laboratory and I obtained my Ph.D. in 1996. 


antoinepage.jpg (70207 bytes)Antoine Page
Ph.D. Student
Portland State University
 
http://www.pdx.edu/

What is your role on this cruise?
I will help to subsample and process sulfide mineral chimneys for further microbiological analysis.
 

What are your primary goals?
We want to understand how microorganisms distribute themselves in the high temperature sulfide chimneys over space and time, as well as the abiotic factors influencing this distribution (temperature, chemistry, and mineralogy). Along with my advisor, Anna-Louise Reysenbach, I will be responsible of identifying and quantifying the microorganisms in subsamples collected across various chimneys.     

What do you expect to find?
I hope to observe clear transitions in the composition and abundance of the microbial communities across the chimneys, and relate that to the data obtained by the other scientists involved in the project. All together, this study will help us to understand more about the constraints on microbial diversity and succession in high temperature deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimneys.
 

What is your favorite/least favorite part of e research cruise?
My favorite part is definitely to get to see the environment in which the microorganisms I study live in.
 

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc?
My dad is a geologist, and I have always been interested in science. I like to understand more about biogeochemical systems and basically how things are related to each other in nature. And then of course you get to go in the field, to all these cool places you wouldn’t go to if you were not a scientist.   

How did you become one?
I received a B.Sc. in Biology and a M.Sc. in Oceanography at the University of Québec. Then I decided I wanted to move to another country and keep working on the deep-sea vents. Anna-Louise’s work was definitely a good incentive, and Portland appeared to be a city I would like to live in. 


Christina Preston (top of page)
MBARI Research Technician
  http://www.mbari.org/staff/preston/ 

What is your role on this cruise? 
I am responsible for collecting sediment samples for microbial analysis on this particular leg of the cruise.
 

What are your primary goals?
We will be taking cores during transects from hot to cold sediments and subsampling those cores to look at the diversity of microorganisms within and between sites. Specifically, our lab is interested in looking for the presence of microbes involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane in hot sediments. Intensive analysis of the chemistry and mineralogy of this particular site is being done by other scientists aboard and thus may allow us to make inferences regarding microbial processes occurring there.

Our main goal on the ship is to retrieve samples. The analysis of the samples will happen back at MBARI.  

What do you expect to find? 
We expect to see differences in the microbial community structure between hot and cold sediments, and hopefully we will find evidence of the anaerobic oxidation of methane.
 

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise? 
The best parts are discovering something that no one has ever seen before and traveling to new places. My least favorite part is getting used to the motion of the boat.
 

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? 
For me there isn't anything more interesting than learning about science. I get to do what I love.
 

How did you become one? 
As an undergraduate I did a research project in a molecular microbiology lab and found my niche. Since then, I've had a lot of opportunities to do research in interesting areas in amazing places.
   

 


tony_webpic1.jpg (208272 bytes)
Tony Ramirez
(top of page)
MBARI Research Technician
 

What is your role on this cruise? 
My primary role on this cruise is using ArcNav to supplement the Western Flyer’s ROV navigation by projecting the ROV position over bathymetric data. ArcNav is an extension for ArcView developed within MBARI that imports the shipboard navigation data into the ArcView display. This enables the science party to tie geologic observations to locations on the bathymetry in real-time, and assists the ROV pilots in navigating through steep or difficult terrain. Apart from my ArcNav duties, I also photograph shipboard operations and rock samples collected, and assist with Vicki (the video recording and annotation system) and other control room duties when needed.
 

What are your primary goals? 
My primary goals during a research cruise are to facilitate the science in any way I can and to provide support when needed for all science party operations. By using ArcNav for real-time mapping of the seafloor I’m able to create maps for subsequent dive planning during the cruise, and visually present the accomplishments of each dive. During previous cruises on the Western Flyer, these maps greatly assisted the assimilation of the data collected. My ultimate goal is to expand the ability of the scientists to extract the data collected and make it more easily digestible.
 

What do you expect to find? 
Good weather, calm seas, active hydrothermal venting, and hopefully some pretty rocks to collect.
 

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise? 
My least favorite part of being at sea for extended periods of time is being gone from my family. To work around this I generally have my family meet me in port stops and see me on and/or off the research vessel. This is actually one of my favorite aspects of a research cruise since it enables additional family vacations to sometimes beautiful and exotic locations. To me, the best part of being a member of an ocean research cruise is working with other scientists with diverse research goals. This gives me exposure to research outside my field of interest, a variety of other research techniques and some very colorful people, which are generally great.
 

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? How did you become one? 
My favorite place to be is in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The variety of rock types and exposed structures in the higher terrain has inspired me to pursue a career focusing primarily on the geological sciences. I’m currently a research technician for a lead scientist at MBARI. Through her support and the support of the institution my progress in becoming a scientist is continuing through education, training and these research cruises.


Anna-Louise Reysenbach (top of page)
Portland State University
http://www.pdx.edu/ 

What is your role on this cruise?
I am one of the microbiologists who will be on the cruise, processing samples for microbes and molecular biology. I will be working with the other scientists
dissecting and analyzing the chimney samples we retrieve.  

What are your primary goals?
Our primary goal is to understand when microbes colonize the chimneys, whether the kinds of microbes change as the chimneys get older, and whether there are clear relationships between the types of minerals and the kinds of microbes we find in the chimneys.
 

What do you expect to find?
Gosh, hopefully we will find many surprises. If we go expecting to find something, we might not see the surprises.
 

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
I really like doing research at sea, and don’t think there is anything I really dislike. Well, maybe my least favorite thing is not being able to go for a hike in the mountains. Perhaps my most favorite thing is the excitement of the unknown discoveries we might make on a dive.
 

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc.? How did you become one?
I was always interested in science as a child. My parents stimulated my interest in the natural world, and our vacations were always filled with hiking, sailing and exploring nature. In college I learned to scuba dive and realized that I wanted to have a career where I could combine my love for scientific research with my love for the ocean and water sports. So I chose a research career that helps me stay near water and outside.
 


Jeffrey Seewald (top of page)
Associate Scientist
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
http://www.whoi.edu/   

What is your role on this cruise?
I am responsible for the collection and analysis of hydrothermal vent fluids

What are your primary goals?
To determine the amounts of organic compounds and dissolved gases in fluids venting at the seafloor. This information will be used to characterize the chemical environment inhabited by vent organisms.

What do you expect to find?
We expect to find very high concentrations of dissolved organic compounds, hydrogen, and methane due to the abundant organic detritus in the sediments. Guaymas Basin is unique because the heating of sediments by the hydrothermal activity generates petroleum in real time. This oil is so abundant that it oozes directly from the sediment into the water column.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My favorite part of being at sea is the opportunity to focus on a particular research objective with essentially no external distractions. I also enjoy the routine nature of life onboard ship that is occasionally punctuated by moments of extreme excitement. My least favorite part is when things go wrong due to mechanical failures or bad weather. Packing gear after a cruise is also not particularly enjoyable.

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc.? 
I have always been interest in science and things technical. Oceanography is a great way to utilize several different scientific disciplines to provide an understanding of natural processes on earth. The cross-disciplinary aspects and real world issues are what I find most intriguing about the field.

How did you become one? 
I studied geology as an undergrad before attending the University of Minnesota for a graduate degree in geochemistry. I came to WHOI as a Postdoc and subsequently joined the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry.

 


Debra Stakes (top of page)
MBARI Geologist
 

What is your role on this cruise?
I am the chief scientist for the cruise. Much of my precruise responsibilities revolve around coordinating the tools and strategies for this highly ambitious effort. Many of the participating scientists bring years of submersible experience to this cruise. I want to be sure that we take advantage of all this accumulated wisdom in planning each dive. How much we accomplish will be determined by the quality of our precruise planning among ourselves and with the personnel in Operations who will make it happen.
 

After the cruise, my role will change to that of a geochemist working on the mineralogy, petrology and chemistry of the sulfide chimneys that are collected. My specialty will be to collect information on both mineral chemistry and isotopic compositions of sulfur, oxygen and carbon. 

What are your primary goals?
My primary goals for this cruise are to successfully obtain complete carbonate-sulfide hydrothermal chimneys from the Guaymas hydrothermal site. We want the precipitates to enclose our instrumentation so that we can capture the thermal and chemical changes that accompany the formation of the chimney walls. The temperatures measured by the thermocouple array will then be compared to the predicted temperatures based on the mineral chemistry and the isotopic compositions. We will also look in the sediments and chimneys for evidence of microbiological precipitation of minerals using the scanning electron microscope.
 

Of course the most primary goal is for the entire scientific party to be successful. This means also collecting sediments and fluids for different but comparative studies. 

What do you expect to find?
There have been several submersible studies to this area before so we have some idea of what scene will greet us on the first dive. We expect to find pagoda-like structures of carbonate-sulfides towering 7-9 meters above a flat sedimented floor. The ledges and summit of the pagodas should be large enough for the ROV to sit on top. There will be jets of black hydrothermal fluid exiting from the sides and top also, so we will need to be careful where we decide to stop. The sediments in this area are very unusual in that they are covered with thick bacterial mats and hydrocarbons.
 

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My answer to this question has not changed much in the past few years. My least favorite part of the cruise is the last few weeks of preparation (like now). There are so many details to fret over and so many questions to be answered. Having to send all of our equipment to Mexico makes the preparation a bit more complicated.
 

My favorite part of the cruise is when we finally set sail. The planning is finally over and we can just focus on each dive and each job at hand. When you are at sea life becomes an intense but relatively uncomplicated routine of managing the science program, archiving the samples and planning each days work. 

And the most fun part is always celebrating your successes upon the return into port. 

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc.?
I decided to become a scientist in grade school because I was fascinated with understanding the natural world and enamored with the thought of being an explorer. I clearly remember a movie shown in my fifth grade class that described "exploring the last frontier on earth" that convinced me to become an oceanographer. Since coming to MBARI I have also discovered that I enjoy the technical aspects of the field also. I may not have made a great engineer but I do like working on development projects to build new tools.
 

How did you become one?
I became a scientist by staying in school until I had my doctorate degree. No one could distract me from my goals. I think that sometimes it takes being very determined. I took summer jobs working in research labs to hone my basic skills. I worked for an organic geochemist and a paleomagnetist at Rice University where I was an undergraduate. I also worked part-time for two years at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. This included very interesting jobs like exposing plant cultures to lunar material to see what would happen.
 


Margaret K. (Meg) Tivey (top of page)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Associate Scientist, Dept. of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry

http://www.whoi.edu/ 

What is your role on this cruise?
I'm a co-Principal Investigator along with Debra Stakes, Geoff Wheat, Randy Koski, Anna-Louise Reysenbach, Jeff Seewald and Al Bradley. We're all working together on a collaborative project (funding for me, JS, AB, and ALR is through the National Science Foundation) to examine microbial colonization as functions of temperature, chemistry, and time in Guaymas Basin. We'll be using Tiburon and Jeff Seewald's isobaric fluid samplers to sample vent fluids, and we'll be deploying thermocouple arrays, designed and built by Al Bradley and colleagues, at the same vents. My focus of this program is on the thermocouple arrays: using temperature to determine how chimneys grow and change over time, and relating data from any chimney material that grows within the array, and that we can recover, to the temperature record. 

What are your primary goals?
The purpose of our study is to investigate the interaction of microorganisms with their geochemical environment, specifically to: 1) Trace the evolution of the thermal/chemical/physical environment within newly formed chimney walls over time-scales of minutes to months, and determine the distribution of microorganisms within this temporal/chemical/thermal/spatial framework; and 2) Assess subsurface geochemical processes responsible for the delivery of organic and inorganic metabolic energy sources and nutrients from deep-seated reaction zones to near seafloor environments.
 

These goals will be attained by identifying microbial populations that inhabit well-constrained temperature and compositional domains within the walls of newly formed and existing chimneys. Temperature within the walls of newly formed chimneys will be monitored using thermocouple arrays that are enveloped during chimney growth. The new chimneys will subsequently be recovered and the solid material in the immediate vicinity of each thermocouple used for enrichment cultures, molecular phylogenetic approaches, and fluorescent in situ hybridization with 16S rRNA-specific probes, while splits of the same material will be fully characterized with respect to their mineralogic, chemical, and isotopic composition.  

My focus is on looking at the temperature records, and, working with Debra and Randy, characterizing the mineralogic, chemical, and isotopic composition of the chimney material. Vent fluids delivering nutrients and chemical energy from deep-seated subsurface reaction zones to the seafloor will be analyzed using a comprehensive analytical plan that involves quantitative determination of the abundance of aqueous organic, inorganic, and gaseous species.  

What do you expect to find?
We hope to characterize the conditions under which microorganisms live within these chimneys. We expect to have new chimneys grow through our thermocouple arrays, and are hoping that, when we recover the arrays after a few days time, that we'll be able to bring back some very young chimney material. There is a chance, however, that the chimney material will be so fragile that it will crumble and disintegrate as we recover the arrays. In that case we will still have excellent records of HOW the chimneys grow, but we'll miss recovering the actual material. Our fallback plan if that happens is to recover young chimneys after measuring the temperatures on their inner and outer surfaces, and use these chimneys for microbial, geochemical, and mineralogical studies. For example, we can then look for good fluid inclusions in minerals of the chimney wall and use those to collect data on the temperatures that were present when the chimney was forming.
 

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My least favorite part is during the planning stages: trying to get all of the equipment ready, making sure we have everything we need, anticipating possible problems and making sure we have contingency plans made. It is especially difficult on a cruise like this where we are building and using many new instruments.
 

The fluid samplers have been modified, the thermocouple arrays are a new design, and the inductively coupled link is being used on every dive and needs to work on every dive or else we cannot communicate with the instruments. We'll also be working in a complex environment. It would be hard enough to plan if we knew exactly what the vent orifices looked like where we plan to put equipment. Instead, we have to try to be flexible so that the instruments could sit in a number of places.  

My favorite part is during the cruise. Once you're out there on the ship, you just work with what you have. If all your plans fall apart, then you wing it. Everyone works together to get the best product possible with what we have.  

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc.?
A series of flukes: I went to college adamant NOT to be a scientist/engineer (my dad was one). But after not taking any science my first quarter, I really missed it. But the only course I could take (since I was now out of sequence with everything else) was Geology. Five field trips later, I was hooked. I decided it would be pretty nice to be able to make a living doing what I liked to do in my spare time anyway (camping, hiking, rock/fossil hunting).
 

How did you become one?
I studied Geology in college, and then decided to see how I liked working in that field. After a year and a half as a technician working at the USGS (going to sea - again a fluke - the first job available was in the Marine Branch so I took it, and found out I loved going to sea!) I decided that my boss had the fun job - getting to figure out the puzzle based on data that I supplied him with. So it was time to go back to school for my PhD. After my PhD I applied and got a post-doc fellowship at WHOI, and then applied for a job on the scientific staff. I've been here ever since.
 


Geoff Wheat (top of page)
Institute of Marine Science
West Coast and Polar Regions Undersea Research Center
http://www.sfos.uaf.edu/directory/faculty/wheat/

What is your role on this cruise?

I'm a co-Principal Investigator along with Debra Stakes, Meg Tivey, Randy

Koski, Anna-Louise Reysenbach, Jeff Seewald, and Al Bradley. My focus is

sampling and analyzing fluids from a variety of settings including hot (300°C)

and warm (5° to 25°C) spring fluids, sediment pore waters, and spring fluids

collected using continuous fluid samplers (OsmoSamplers).

 

What are your primary goals?

My primary goal is to deploy continuous fluid samplers into high temperature

hydrothermal vents and collect fluids as the vent evolves and as a chimney

forms. The significance of this effort is to obtain fluids from within the

chimney wall where there is a potential for a warm (100°C) active biosphere.

These deployments are a proof-of-concept that builds upon a successful

deployment on Axial Seamount.

 

What do you expect to find?

I expect that we will be able to collect fluids from within the chimney walls.

 

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?

My favorite part of the work is being at sea with a host of interesting people

all focused on completing the tasks at hand and each with their own

perspective and expertise. My least favorite part is being away from my

family.

 

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc.?

As a kid, I always like being on the ocean. I enjoyed sailing, swimming,

diving, and fishing. The more time I spent near and on the ocean, the more I

wanted to continue being near and on the ocean.

 

How did you become one?

I studied mathematics at the University of New Hampshire and worked in a

chemical oceanography laboratory. The work experience led to a desire to go to

graduate school and maintain close ties to the ocean. After obtaining a PhD.

from the University of Washington I worked at the University of Hawaii. I

accepted my present position in 1995 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

where I am an Associate Research Professor, Regional Coordinator for the West

Coast and Polar Regions Undersea Research Center, and an adjunct at MBARI

where I am located.