Microbial Mysteries in the Gulf of California

Microbial Mysteries in the Gulf of California
Hydrothermal vent tube worms (Riftia sp.) in the Guaymas Basin of the Gulf of California. Photo courtesy of Dr. Mandy Joye.

February 08, 2019

ECOGIG director Dr. Samantha Joye and her multi-national team will compare the biology, geology, chemistry, and microbiology of sites along the southern to the northern Gulf. The northern area is largely unexplored and the geological characteristics, microbiology, and seafloor fauna are unknown, making a portion of the expedition exploratory in nature. They will explore known and new sites in the Guaymas and Pescadero Basins, building on previous work and diving on new sites. The team aims to identify and quantify habitat-specific microbial populations and assess how those microorganisms interact with the geologic structures and megafauna of vents, seeps, and hydrates. The scientists will visit eight areas in the Gulf, seeking to reveal previously unknown areas with shipboard mapping that is followed by collection of sediment, fluid, and microbiology samples collected with ROV SuBastian. The data will help them to unravel the microbial mysteries of the Gulf of California!

Learn more about the research being done in the Gulf of California online here. You can tune in to watch the live footage from the ROV (remotely operated vehicle) dives during the cruise (February 11 - March 15) online here. There will also be blog updates available from Dr. Joye on her website.


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