Where are you from, and what is your role in Extreme 2002?
I am a first-year graduate student working with Dr. Colleen Cavanaugh. Our lab will be using molecular techniques to study microorganisms found in association with hydrothermal vents and in symbiotic relationships with vent invertebrates.
What kinds of questions will you try to answer, and why?
We are interested in the bacterium that grows in a symbiotic relationship
On this cruise, we will try to identify where this important bacterium is found outside of its tubeworm host. To do so, we will collect water and invertebrate (tubeworms, clams, mussels) samples as well as deploy and retrieve devices designed to collect bacteria that settle from the water column. Many of our samples will be preserved aboard ship and then shipped home for genetic analysis. In characterizing the distribution of the "free-living" Riftia symbiont we will provide information about how the tubeworm acquires its symbiont and about how this important symbiosis may have evolved.
What is your educational background? What lured you into marine research?
As a kid I became interested in marine life by keeping saltwater aquariums
and by exploring the rich tidepools on the Oregon coast. In 2000, I received
a B.A. in Biology from Middlebury College. I then went on to study bacteria
in Antarctic sea ice as a graduate student at the University of Nevada,