Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

William Hamner, Ph.D.

University of California, Los Angeles

Mid-water Sampling with a 3000m ROV
in the Celebs Sea

Atolla Jelly

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Pacific Forum – 3:00 p.m.


The richest biological environments on Earth are the islands and oceans of South-East Asia, biodiversity "hotspots" for both terrestrial and marine organisms. Shallow-water marine biodiversity here is unparalleled, but deep-sea basins remain poorly known. We sampled for epipelagic, midwater, and epibenthic animals and made vertical surveys of the water column along the north-west edge of the Celebs Basin in October 2007. We used various tools to sample at depth from a Philippine hydrographic ship. A Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) took photographs, video, and collected specimens down to 3000 meters. We used midwater trawls, a video plankton recorder, and baited benthic cameras. Epipelagic gelatinous animals were filmed and collected by SCUBA divers day and night, and filmed alive aboard the ship in Plankton-Kreisels and with microscopes and holography. We found new species and new genera, made significant observations regarding pollution, and have new hypotheses about speciation and biodiversity in the Celebs Sea.


Next: January 30 - Gary Breschini, Ph.D.