What is your role during the Extreme 2004 expedition?
I will be investigating the viral communities that inhabit diffuse-flow hydrothermal vent water and the interactions that exist between viruses and the prokaryotic host cells that they infect. Our group will be using a large volume water sampler (LVWS) to collect approximately 120 liters of vent water that we will proccess for viruses using differential filtration once the instrument is returned to the surface.
Why did you choose this career, and how long have you been doing this? I knew I wanted to be a marine scientist from a fairly young age. Growing up, I spent a good amount of my summer vacations at the New Jersey shore with my family and friends. I developed a great admiration and appreciation of the ocean and a great deal of curiosity for what lurked beneath its surface.
Tell us about the most interesting thing that has happened to you because of your work.
The opportunity to dive in Alvin.
What do you like most about your job? Least?
I really enjoy going to sea to collect samples. It's a very unique job opportunity with no two days alike. Field work keeps my job fresh and exciting, and it definitely keeps me on my toes! Sleep deprivation is what I like least about my job.
What do you like most about going to sea? Least?
I like going to sea because I'm surrounded by an environment that I love. The thing I like least about going to sea is trying to find someone to look after my pets!
How often do you go to sea?
I go to sea almost every other month. This is my longest trip of the year and definitely the furthest from home.
Do you ever get seasick? If so, how do you handle it?
I rarely get seasick, but it does happen occasionaly in very bad weather. Bonine is a wonderful seasickness remedy. At least it works for me!
How do you fill your free time aboard ship?
I like to catch up on my reading or watch a movie. I also try to sqeeze a workout in at the gym when I have some free time.
What's your favorite hobbie? Favorite movie? Favorite book? Favorite food?
I would have to say my favorite hobby is running, it's very relaxing. My all-time favorite movie is the Princess Bride. My favorite book…that's a tough question. I don't think I have a favorite. I like so many different ones. My favorite food is cheese. That was an easy question.
Where is the most exotic place you have been?
I don't know if I consider Spain exotic, but Cadaques, Spain is one of the most beautiful places I have visited.
What one tip would you give to students interested in pursuing a career like yours?
Study hard, stay focused, and never let anyone deter you from your dreams. Okay, that's three tips, but let's pretend it's only one.