Sean McAllister is a member of the biology team from CICOES/UW and PMEL/NOAA, specializing in molecular and microbial ecology. Currently a postdoc on this expedition, Sean earned his Ph.D. in marine biosciences from the University of Delaware, studying the functional diversity and expression of genes within a group of marine iron-oxidizing Bacteria. Building on these foundations, Sean has extended his bioinformatics programming skills and applied them to NOAA’s Omics portfolio, expanding coastline monitoring efforts using environmental DNA (eDNA) and exploring population boundaries with whole genome sequencing.

On the Falkor (too), Sean will be surveying microbial and animal communities from the water column, filtering eDNA to capture broad community biodiversity to be sequenced in real-time on board the vessel. Once a novel venting region is found, Sean will similarly deploy molecular tools to support diversity assessment and species discovery.