FeMO4 Dive Cruise 2009
Cruise Participants

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David Emerson
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

I conduct investigations of iron-oxidizing bacteria and microbial mats.  I study the physiology, ecology, and behavior of a unique group of microbes that live on iron, using a variety of culture experiments, microscopy, and molecular methods.

Craig Moyer
Western Washington University

I study the diversity of microbial mat communities and correlation with environmental variables.  I want to know where microbial communities grow in relation to hydrothermal vents and how they change over time.

Hubert Staudigel
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

I explore how microbes interact with volcanic rocks and how they may influence their weathering. Microbes leave distinct corrosion traces in volcanic rocks that suggest that they actively dissolve rocks. It is not clear at this stage which microbes are dissolving the rocks nor how they do this. Our Loihi work might help us learn about these microbes and their impact on chemical fluxes.

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Sarah Bennett
Post-doc, University of Southern California

I study the chemistry of deep sea hydrothermal plumes. I want to understand how hydrothermal systems affect the chemical cycles in the ocean.

Rick Davis
Graduate Student, Oregon Health and Sciences University

I study microbial ecology. Metal-cycling bacteria conduct chemosynthesis by taking electrons from iron and converting those electrons into energy. This is important because it is a new source of energy and a way of making new life at the bottom of the ocean. (Rick is holding his infamous bacterial scoop)

Emily Fleming
Post-doc, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

I study geomicrobiology. I look at the physiology of iron-oxidizing bacteria living on hydrothermal vents. I want to know how much iron is oxidized and how much energy the bacteria need for growth. (Emily is holding her one-of-a-kind bacterial slide trap).

Deb Jaisi
Post-doc, Yale University Department of Geology and Geophysics

I work on isotope geochemistry. I use isotope signatures to identify the sources and drivers of phosphates in a particular environment. This is important because often there aren’t enough phosphates in the environment for organisms to grow. So I look at how phosphates cycle from one system to another.

Katrin Kiesslich
Graduate Student, Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Rostock, Germany

I study bacterial communities that live in special habitats that contain no oxygen, but instead, contain hydrogen sulfide. These bacteria live 200-300 feet deep in the Baltic Sea. They metabolize the hydrogen sulfide and detoxify the water.

Emily Knowles
Graduate Student, University of Colorado, Boulder

I study biosignatures in sub-seafloor basalt rocks by looking at drill-core sections. I am interested in what these biosignatures can teach us about early life on earth and on other planets.

Lisa Kohne
Education and Outreach

I work as a program evaluator for federally-funded outreach and training projects. I am in charge of the education and outreach on this expedition. I provide stories, photos, and videos for the website and coordinate the daily blog.

Sean McAllister
Graduate Student, Western Washington University

I study microbial ecology using molecular techniques such as T-RFLP (a community fingerprinting technique), clone library analysis and sequencing, and quantitative-PCR. I am interested in how bacteria use aqueous iron and transform it into solid iron structures. At Loihi Seamount we are performing temporal and special experiments to observe how the microbiodiversity at the vents vary between vents and change over time.

Beth Orcutt
Post-doc, Center for Geomicrobiology, University of Aarhus, Denmark

I study bacteria that consume rocks at and below the seafloor. I collect the rocks, observe the bacteria, and design colonization experiments to identify which bacteria grow on which rocks. I want to find out what microbes live on the sea floor, how they live on rocks, how they mine out the minerals, and if these bacteria have any impact on global chemical cycles.

Olivier Rouxel
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/University of Brest, France

I study metal cycling and stable isotope systematics in seafloor hydrothermal systems and seawater. I want to investigate the relationships between the evolution of the earth and the evolution of life on earth.

Carolyn Sheehan
Staff, Oregon Health and Sciences University Department of Science and Engineering

I work as a lab manager at OHSU in a lab that studies manganese and symbiotic bacteria that produce anti-cancer compounds.

Wendy Smythe
Graduate Student, Oregon Health and Sciences University

I study manganese and how it is associated with microorganisms in different environments (temperatures, depths, etc.) I analyze how the microbes are attached to manganese and how they use it to cycle carbon dioxide.

Jason Sylvan
Post-doc, University of Southern California

I study microbial life in hydrothermal environments. This is important because the fluids that come out of hydrothermal vents contain a high concentration of metals such as iron and manganese that are not normally found in a high concentration in the ocean. Some bacteria process these metals to produce energy which they use to convert carbon dioxide into sugar. This makes hydrothermal vents into an oasis – rich with food and diverse with life.


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