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Deep-Sea Eukaryotic Life 2017 Expedition – Log 1

A deep-sea in situ incubation sampler is filled with seawater at a depth of 3,600 meters using the ROV. This experiment is designed to understand which deep-sea microorganisms consume sinking organic material.

Deep-Sea Eukaryotic Life 2017 Expedition – Log 1

David Needham

The first day and a half of our cruise was busy and exciting. After an initial delay of six hours due to rough seas and strong winds, we had a successful deployment of the ROV Doc Ricketts aboard the R/V Western Flyer. With the help of the robotic arms of the ROV and the skilled hands of the ROV pilots aboard the ship, Rachel Clark and Maria Hamilton led studies to understand the fate of phytoplankton at the seafloor, 3,600 meters below the sea surface.

(from left to right) Maria Hamilton, Sebastian Sudek, and David Needham on the deck of the R/V Western Flyer.
The ROV Doc Ricketts is deployed and recovered through the moonpool of the R/V Western Flyer.
A crane is used to recover and deploy the ROV Doc Ricketts.

At the surface, we found that the waters near Monterey Bay were very rich in phytoplankton, as part of an ongoing spring bloom! Overnight, Mohammad “Monir” Moniruzzaman set up an incubation experiment to improve our understanding of how vitamins control the activity of phytoplankton.

A deep-sea in situ incubation sampler is filled with seawater at a depth of 3,600 meters using the ROV. This experiment is designed to understand which deep-sea microorganisms consume sinking organic material.

About Deep-Sea Eukaryotic Life 2017 Expedition

For seven days, the Marine Microbial Ecology Group will participate in the Deep-Sea Eukaryotic Life Expedition aboard the R/V Western Flyer.