Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Press Room
MBARI news briefs—
April through June 2007

This page describes recent discoveries, achievements, publications, and events at MBARI.
For more information on these stories, please contact Kim Fulton-Bennett:,


^The cover of MBARI's 2006 annual report highlights the use of genetic material to monitor marine microorganisms
30 May 2007:
MBARI 2006 annual report highlights exciting new research

Many people think of annual reports as pages of legal jargon punctuated by long tables of financial information. MBARI's annual reports, however, provide much more interesting fare, since they contain detailed descriptions of some of the most exciting research to come out of MBARI during the previous calendar year. The 2006 Annual Report, for example, includes stories on: 1) an undersea genetic lab, 2) ice-like deposits of natural gas on the seafloor, 3) exploring a sunken airship, 4) changes in microscopic algae within Monterey Bay, 5) oceanographic data for school teachers, 6) "old-growth forests" of deep-sea corals, 7) a new deep-sea observatory, and 8) new research made possible by untethered underwater robots (AUVs). Read about all these projects and more in the 2006 report, available in PDF format on the MBARI publications page.

^ROV Ventana being lowered into Monterey Bay
8 May 2007:
MBARI's ROV Ventana completes 3,000 science dives

MBARI's first remotely operated vehicle, ROV Ventana, reached a new milestone today with the completion of its 3,000th research dive. Outfitted in 1988, ROV Ventana still navigates the deep waters of Monterey Bay four days a week and has completed more dives than any other scientific ROV. Over the years, the robot submarine has been modified so many times that almost no parts from the original vehicle remain. Thus it is now considerably stronger, more adaptable, and has better "eyesight" (cameras) than when it was first purchased. Ventana and its host vessel, the research vessel Point Lobos, have provided scientists with an unprecedented views of the geology of Monterey Bay as well as its midwater and bottom-dwelling animals. Under the meticulous care and handling of its pilots and the crew of the R/V Point Lobos, ROV Ventana will no doubt provide, as its name suggests in Spanish, a "window" on the bay for many years to come.

^MBARI mechanical engineering technician Larry Bird installs sampling chambers in the "gulper" AUV.
26 April 2007:
Need a water sample? Send out the robot

In the near future, when MBARI scientists want to collect a sample of seawater, they won't have to go out in a boat—they'll just send out a robot submarine. Over the past month, MBARI researchers have been testing a new autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that can be sent out to collect seawater samples on its own, virtually anywhere in Monterey Bay. MBARI engineers have been working on this device, known as the "gulper," for over two years. The gulper can collect up to ten separate water samples of 2 liters (about 2 quarts) each. After the seawater is returned to shore, scientists can analyze its chemistry, look at it under the microscope, or run DNA analyses to determine what types of microscopic organisms it contains.

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Last updated: Apr. 22, 2009