What is your role during the Extreme 2004 expedition?
I will be culturing the symbionts from the back of Alvinella, using a variety of enrichment media. I also will determine which of the symbionts are actively fixing carbon dioxide for growth.
Why did you choose this career, and how long have you been doing this? I chose to be a scientist because of my love of discovery, nature, and furthering our role as stewards of this planet.
Tell us about the most interesting thing that has happened to you because of your work.
My work now involves many of these cruises and trips to meetings. However, I most remember the first dive in a submersible six years ago. I was fortunate to be invited on a French-sponsored cruise and dove in the yellow submarine Nautile.
What do you like most about your job? Least?
Most would have to be discovering new things and contributing to the ever-expanding scientific world. Least would be writing proposals to get the funding.
What do you like most about going to sea? Least?
My time at sea is another whole world with no cell phones, Internet, or worries about what is going on, except for my family — that leads me to the least favorite part about going to sea: I miss my husband and 3-year-old son.
How often do you go to sea?
I have gone to sea five times.
Do you ever get seasick? If so, how do you handle it?
Rarely. I do get a bit queasy during the steam out to the site and when it gets a bit rough. I take bonine when needed.
How do you fill your free time aboard ship?
Videos, star gazing, and ping pong.
What's your favorite hobbie? Favorite movie? Favorite book? Favorite food?
My favorite hobby now would be volleyball, but I haven't had a chance to play lately. I find it difficult to pick either a favorite book or movie, but I love the Star Wars triology and any of John Irving's books. Food would have to be chocolate-peanut butter ice cream.
Where is the most exotic place you have been?
Sitting in Alvin at the bottom of the ocean.
What one tip would you give to students interested in pursuing a career like yours?
Always wonder why and how we are here on the planet.