William Hamner, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Mid-water Sampling with a 3000m ROV
in the Celebs Sea
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.