Biodiverse Borderlands Update

In 2021, R/V Falkor helped scientists from Scripps investigate the effects of a historic DDT dumping site off the coast of Los Angeles. Dr. David Valentine from UC Santa Barbara first confirmed the existence of the DDT dumpsite in 2020, which scientists and historians had suspected the presence of for the past decade. Historical records show that a DDT production facility dumped thousands of barrels of DDT and its waste products off the coast of Los Angeles between 1947 through 1982. Principal Investigators, Drs. Lisa Levin and Paul Jensen, provide updates on the research in the video below. 

Back Ashore with Mariana Trench Explorers

On July 27th, we hosted a Back Ashore Livestream event with Mariana Trench Explorers David Butterfield (NOAA), Julie Huber (WHOI), Jeff Drazen (U. Hawaii), and Mackenzie Gerringer (SUNY Geneseo). We discussed discoveries from their 2014 and 2016 expeditions, where they set out to understand volcanism in the region and the animals living in the deepest known place on earth. The 2014 expedition tested SOI’s full ocean depth landers, and ROV SuBastian dove on one of its earliest expeditions during the 2016 expedition. These incredible scientists came together to discuss all they learned and how Mariana Trench research has changed in the past eight years.


Open-Source Publications

Diversity and Time-series Analyses of Caribbean deep-sea Coral and Sponge Assemblages on the Tropical Island Slope of Isla de Roatan, Honduras. – Etnoyer P., et al., 2022
The first detailed report of living deep-sea coral and sponge assemblages from Isla de Roatán and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The report is a compilation of ten years of study on the second-largest fringing barrier reef in the world. It includes data collected from one of Falkor‘s first research cruises in 2013 with Chief Scientist  Dr. Peter Etnoyer from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. 

Deep-water Coral Records of Glacial and Recent Ocean-atmosphere Dynamics from the Perth Canyon in the Southeast Indian Ocean.  – Trotter J, et al. 2022
A publication that provides the first insights into deep water circulation and ventilation history of the Indian Ocean, with help from samples collected on Falkor in 2020 with Chief Scientist Dr. Julie Trotter from the University of Western Australia and scientists from ISMAR, the Western Australia Museum, the ARC Center, and Istituto di Scienze Polari. Isotope analyses from fossilized and live coral samples from the Perth Canyon were used to reconstruct changes in deep water movement in the region since the last ice age.  

Deep-water Coral Records of Glacial and Recent Ocean-atmosphere Dynamics from the Perth Canyon in the Southeast Indian Ocean.  – Trotter J, et al. 2022
This publication reveals two new species of microbes that provide insight into the origin of eukaryotes. The samples were collected and cultivated in the lab from the Auka vent field in 2018 by co-Principal Investigator Dr. Victoria Orphan from CalTech while she was on R/V Falkor. The new archaea are a potential link to the evolutionary transition from single-celled to multicellular organisms.

Summer Newsletter 2022 • Menu
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