Dr. Beth Orcutt is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine, USA, where she leads the “Deep Biosphere” Laboratory. Beth earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and her Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from the University of Georgia, where she studied how microbes living at the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico consumed methane gas and oil. After earning her degrees, Beth began to study microbes living even deeper below the seafloor within the rocky oceanic crust. This research involves the international scientific ocean drilling program known as the International Ocean Discovery Program, one of the longest running and most successful international scientific programs. Beth has spent over 500+ days at sea on various drilling expeditions and explorations of the seafloor with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and human occupied submersibles. Beth was a participant in one of the early shakedown cruises of the RV Falkor in 2012, where an ROV was used on the ship for the first time in support of research to study how microbes consume oil on the seafloor after an oil spill. On this cruise, Beth will bring some of the methodologies developed for studying life below the seafloor back to seafloor seep environments, to try to identify which microbes within a community are responsible for chemical cycling and how they connect to the animal communities at the seep sites. Beth will be tweeting about her experiences on this cruise at @DeepMicrobe.