In some ways, I'm kinda jealous of the research Heather does. I love my macrophages, but studying the bugs that live in the extreme environment of deep sea hydrothermal vents has always fascinated me. As a consequence of the stuff she studies, Heather also has to (gets to?) take multi-week sea voyages to travel out to these creatures' hang out in order to gather samples.
This year we will once again be on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, but we will be further South at Ashes vent field in Axial caldera. I'll see if I can find a map for the next post. We will be deploying an exciting instrument to do some molecular biology on the sea floor in a hydrothermal diffuse flow. I also have a side project planned that involves deploying microbial samplers filled with diffrent minerals to see if different microbial communities grow on different minerals commonly found in vents.
To read updates and catch up on last year's adventures, check out Heather at Sea.