Clarissa Karthäuser is a postdoctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where she studies how micro-organisms form communities and transform molecules while they sit together on small particles. She has a background in Biology and Biological Oceanography, which she studied at Kiel University and Geomar, Germany. During her PhD project at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (Bremen, Germany), Clarissa started to focus on anaerobic processes associated with marine snow particles. She observed how particles provide platforms for microorganisms, where they can form consortia and act differently than a free-living community would. Fascinated by this observation, she decided to continue studying particles and the associated microbial communities during her postdoc project. At hydrothermal vents, the high biological activity above and below the seafloor contributes to the formation of a variety of particles which have received little study. Clarissa brings a special incubator to this cruise, in which she can study the processes taking place on individual particles and how this correlates with properties of the particles such as their origin and resulting elemental composition and the microbial communities attached to them.