Beth Orcutt (she/her) – CO-CHIEF SCIENTIST

Title and Institution: Senior Research Scientist, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Maine, USA

Beth Orcutt is a Senior Research Scientist and interim Vice President for Research at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in the USA. She directs the Deep Biosphere Laboratory which specializes in the study of the life of microbes in the deep sea and below the seafloor, seeking to unravel the mysteries of how microbes thrive in these environments and how their life impacts the cycling of elements of Earth. Recently, her research focuses on documenting the services that microbes provide in deep sea ecosystems that may be impacted by emergent human uses of the seafloor, such as deep-sea mining and subseafloor carbon sequestration. Orcutt is the Director of the Crustal Ocean Biosphere Research Accelerator (COBRA), and international network-of-networks focused on accelerating research of the crustal ocean biosphere to inform decision making. She holds Ph.D. and B.S. degrees in Marine Sciences and Interdisciplinary Sciences, respectively, from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, USA. For her contributions to her field, Orcutt was recognized by the American Geophysical Union and Japan Geosciences Union with the Asahiko Taira Prize for Scientific Ocean Drilling Research in 2019. Orcutt has been chief scientist of numerous expeditions and cumulatively has spent over 600 days at sea.