Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
2013 midwater ecology cruise


Day 7 – Last day
November 13, 2013

We have had an amazingly productive cruise. On day one, we assembled a list of target species amongst the science team and collaborators from all over who couldn’t come along. The list was quite long and we managed to check almost every single species off our list. The weather was beautiful all week. The only wind we encountered was in the last few hours of our dive today. We did have to pull the ROV early, but considering what good luck we’ve had, we’re happy.

Panorama of the back deck. The trawl net hangs to dry on the A-frame. You can’t tell from the image, but the wind came up to over 28 knots this afternoon.

We could not have had such a successful cruise without the tireless efforts of our ROV pilots and the Western Flyer crew. They work long hours and we want them all to know how much we appreciate how smoothly they keep our cruises going. We are also especially thankful to our cook, Patrick Mitts. He keeps us all well-fed (for some, too well), accommodating a variety of diets. On behalf of the entire science team—thanks everyone!

A rare photo of almost all of the ship’s engineers having a very important meeting in the galley. These guys work very hard, but it is hard to capture all that they do in a photo because much of their work is below decks. From left, Electronics Officer Dan Chamberlain, Relief Chief Engineer Lance Wardle, Relief First Engineer Fred Peemoeller, Second Engineer Jason Jordan. Not pictured are Olin Jordan who was working his rounds and Chief Engineer Matt Noyes who got to take this cruise off.
Panorama of the ship’s bridge, where the captain drives the ship. From far left, Relief Chief Engineer Lance Wardle and Captain Aaron Gregg, who normally sails as captain on our other ship, the Rachel Carson, but sailed as relief on this trip. Thanks, Aaron!
Panorama of the moonpool after the ROV recovery. Crew, pilots, and scientists are all busy when the ROV comes on deck. Pilots secure the ROV and then, with the help of crew, prepare the tether for the next deployment while the science team unloads samples.  

— Susan von Thun

Previous log

 Logbook

Day 7 Day 7
November 13, 2013
Last day


Day 6 Day 6
November 12, 2013
Stayin' alive!


Day 5 Day 5
November 11, 2013
What's for dinner?


Day 4 Day 4
November 10, 2013
On the hunt for deep-living animals


Day 3 Day 3
November 9, 2013
Deep midwater respirometry system (MRS) deployment


Day 2 Day 2
November 8, 2013
Expansion of the oxygen minimum zone


whale's fluke Day 1
November 7, 2013
Why study the midwater and what the heck is OMZ?


 Equipment

R/V Western Flyer

The R/V Western Flyer is a small water-plane area twin hull (SWATH) oceanographic research vessel measuring 35.6 meters long and 16.2 meters wide. It was designed and constructed for MBARI to serve as the support vessel for ROV operations. Her missions include the Monterey Bay as well as extended cruises to Hawaii, Gulf of California, and the Pacific Northwest.

ROV Doc Ricketts

ROV Doc Ricketts is MBARI's next generation ROV. The system breaks new ground in providing an integrated unmanned submersible research platform, with many powerful features providing efficient, reliable and precise sampling and data collection in a wide range of missions.

Midwater respirometry system (MRS)

The MRS conducts oxygen consumption rate measurements in situ gauging the metabolism of animals without subjecting them to the stresses of transport to the surface. MRS has been modified to operate in deeper water with an expanded capacity, enabling respiration studies on animals that live deeper than 1,250 meters.


Detritus sampler

Detritus samplers are large plexiglass containers with lids that can be controlled by the pilot of the ROV and gently closed once an organism is trapped inside.


CTDO

The CTDO is mounted on the ROV and takes in situ measurements of environmental parameters such as conductivity, temperature, depth, and oxygen concentration.


High frequency suction sampler

This sampler acts like a vacuum cleaner sucking up samples and depositing them into one of the 12 buckets.


 Research Team

bruce robison Bruce Robison
Senior Scientist, MBARI

Bruce Robison's research is focused on the biology and ecology of deep-sea animals, particularly those that inhabit the oceanic water column. He pioneered the use of undersea vehicles for these studies and he led the first team of scientists trained as research submersible pilots. At MBARI, his research group has focused on the development of remotely operated vehicles as platforms for deep-sea science.

kim reisenbichler Kim Reisenbichler
Research Specialist, MBARI

Kim's general area of interest is the study of midwater and deep sea animals. He has developed many tools and techniques to observe, manipulate, and collect these organisms, and to maintain the animals in the lab.

rob sherlock Rob Sherlock
Senior Research Technician, MBARI

Rob is interested in the ecology of midwater invertebrates. He has worked in the Robison lab and been involved with the Midwater Time Series since he came to MBARI in 1996, identifying and quantifying mesopelagic animals and the changes in that community over time and depth and relative to other physical factors.

kris walz Kris Walz
Research Assistant, MBARI

Kris works with the midwater ecology group, analyzing ROV video transects between 50 and 1,000 meters in depth to identify biological organisms from all taxonomic levels. Kris started working at MBARI in 1996 after finishing her master's degree at University of California, Santa Cruz. She's looking forward to going to sea this month to collect video transects and to search for deep-sea lobster larvae from the family Polychelidae.

susan von thun Susan von Thun
Senior Research Technician, MBARI

Susan works in the MBARI video lab, where her primary responsibility is to watch video taken with MBARI's remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and make observations about the organisms, behaviors, equipment, and geological features that she sees. While annotating video, she's become adept at identifying numerous deep-sea organisms, specializing in midwater organisms. She works closely with the midwater ecology group and the bioluminescence lab to expand her knowledge of the fish, jellies, cephalopods, and other groups in the midwater.

Stephanie Bush
Postdoctoral Fellow, MBARI

Stephanie will be collecting squids and octopuses for the Monterey Bay Aquarium's upcoming cephalopod exhibit "Tentacles". She will also continue her research on deep-sea cephalopod behavior and population connectivity in planktonic animals.

goetz Freya Goetz
Museum Technician, Smithsonian Institution

Freya is collecting hyperiid amphipods, polychaetes and sampling of other animals for Karen Osborn at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The animals collected will be for a variety of projects including the study of amphipod eye structure, animal microbiomes and population genetics.

burford Ben Burford
Research Assistant

Ben's undergraduate degree encompassed terrestrial and aquatic zoology, ecology, and botany. He has become fascinated with and engrossed in the study of deep-sea ecology and behavior. This focus comes after recently completing an internship in the Robison Midwater Ecology Lab at MBARI where he examined the behavior of the deep-sea cephalopod, Chiroteuthis calyx.