Zooplankton Biodiversity and Species Relationships OverviewTeamLatest NewsTechnologies We are accustomed to seeing the deep-sea portrayed as the home to scary-looking fish, but in reality, many different kinds of organisms live there. Most of these lack backbones, and many of them are “gelatinous”: transparent, fragile, and taking on a myriad of forms. There are two ways that we are discovering new layers of this diversity: First, using remotely operated submersibles (ROVs) we can collect fragile life forms which have not been studied before. Second, within the species that we think are familiar, we find new genetic diversity. As we look closer, we find that two similar-looking animals from different parts of the ocean are actually two different species. These results are important because we need to be able to census marine populations in order to understand ocean ecosystems, how they are linked, and how they might be changing. New genetic tools which allow you to easily assess who lives in the ocean require a lot of hard work before they can be accurately applied. We need to identify genetic sequences corresponding to each species, and see how variable those sequences are across different geographic spaces.Another unexpected way that deep-sea diversity can inform us about life on earth pertains to the very origin of animals themselves. Comb jellies and sponges, both of which are abundant and diverse in the deep ocean, represent two evolutionary events in the transition from single-celled organisms to multicellular animals. By studying their genetics and relationships, we not only learn about where those species came from, but how we ourselves came to be. Team Directory Steven Haddock Senior Scientist/Marine Biologist Principal Investigator Lynne Christianson Senior Research Technician Shannon Johnson Senior Research Technician Collaborators Darrin Schultz (alumni) Publications All Publications Christianson, L.M., S.B. Johnson, D.T. Schultz, and S.H.D. Haddock. 2021. Hidden diversity of Ctenophora revealed by new mitochondrial COI primers and sequences. Molecular Ecology Resources, 22: 283–294. https://doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.13459 Latest News All News News Genetic research offers new perspective on the early evolution of animals Press Release 05.17.23 News Scientists discover a new species of deep-sea crown jelly in Monterey Bay News 04.19.22 News New underwater camera records stunning 4K video of deep-sea animals and habitats News 01.26.22 Technologies All Technologies Vehicle, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) ROV Ventana Technology ROV Ventana A remotely operated vehicle equipped with a Sea-Bird 19plus V2 CTD package including a dissolved oxygen sensor, transmissometer, and spatial lasers mounted on the main camera. Software Video Annotation and Reference System (VARS) Technology Video Annotation and Reference System (VARS) A software interface and database system that provides tools for describing, cataloging, retrieving, and viewing the data associated with deep-sea video archives. Vehicle, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) MiniROV Technology MiniROV The MiniROV is used to conduct shallow water transects and make in situ observations. Vehicle, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) ROV Doc Ricketts Technology ROV Doc Ricketts An integrated unmanned submersible research platform with features providing efficient, reliable, and precise sampling and data collection. Data All Data Sorry, no results were found.