A cohort of scientists currently at sea in the Caribbean are posting blog updates in connection with the OASES 2012 cruise, which involves an interdisciplinary team of marine microbial ecologists, geochemists and geologists investigating seafloor volcanic vents on the Mid-Cayman Rise—the planet’s deepest mid-ocean ridge. Two of the cruise scientists, Dr. Chip Breier (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and Dr. Gregory Dick (University of Michigan) are supported by GBMF through the Marine Microbiology Initiative. Using a remotely operated underwater vehicle, the OASES team is exploring the deep-sea ridge and collecting microbial and mineral samples that will help to understand the physical processes that created the hydrothermal vents and how the indigenous microbes influence and are influenced by the hot deep-sea environment.
The blog can be found here.
The research is also supported by NSF’s Division of Ocean Sciences and NASA’s program “Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets.”