I am a geochemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who investigates hot-spring activity at oceanic spreading centers. My research is motivated by an interest in chemical reactions and geological processes responsible for the formation venting fluids at oceanic spreading centers and the origin and maintenance of life in hydrothermal environments. This has focused my efforts on understanding the origin and stability of organic and volatile compounds in ridge-crest environments. I utilize a variety of approaches including filed studies, laboratory experiments, and theoretical modeling of fluid-rock reactions.
The Mid-Cayman Rise is an exciting place to work due to its extraordinary depth, high temperatures, and diversity of rock types that directly influence the composition of vent fluids. During this cruise, I will be responsible for coordination and implementation of vent fluid sampling and chemical analysis. We will deploy purpose-built fluid samplers from the ROV Nereus that maintain sampled fluids at seafloor pressures when recovered on-board the ship. This ensures that we do not lose any dissolved gases such as hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen sulfide. We have set up a variety of analytical equipment in the main lab of the RV Falkor that will allow us to characterize the composition and abundance of numerous chemicals in sampled vent fluids. We will work closely with the biologists and water column chemists to provide key information regarding the composition of vent fluids that deliver energy and matter to the oceans.