Monika Bright is a Professor at the University of Vienna, Austria and is appointed head of the Department of Limnology and Bio-Oceanography and Vice Study Program Director of Ph.D. studies at the Faculty of Life Sciences. Monika received her Ph.D. in zoology and paleontology at the University of Vienna in 1992 and her habilitation in marine biology and zoology in 2001. Her research interests cover the ecology and evolution of microbial – eukaryote mutualism, such as the deep-sea hydrothermal vent and cold seep vestimentiferans tubeworms and shallow-water ciliates with chemoautotrophic symbionts. She currently focuses on understanding the partner choice mechanism and the loner strategy in mutualism.  On this cruise she will be working on how symbionts infect a host larva and how do they escape a host upon host death. This is Monika’s 14th deep-sea research cruise and her first to the West Pacific aboard the R/V Falkor this year.