Characterization of deep-sea benthic invertebrate megafauna of the Galapagos Islands
Characterization of deep-sea benthic invertebrate megafauna of the Galapagos Islands

(Credit Ocean Exploration Trust) Seamounts are prominent features of deep seafloor of the Galapagos archipelago and until recently, these extinct volcanoes and the biological communities that live on them, have remained largely unexplored. For the first time, we explored three seamounts, where we reveal fragile coral and sponge communities hosting thirty deep-sea invertebrate species that are new science.

Deep-diving whales in the CCZ
Deep-diving whales in the CCZ

(Credit Leigh Marsh) Using a marine autonomous robot, our new study has revealed a series of depressions forming mysterious tracks on the seafloor in a region of the Pacific Ocean targeted for deep-sea nodule mining, which may be an unprecedented record of deep-diving whales.

Galapagos Spreading Centre
Galapagos Spreading Centre

(Credit Ocean Exploration Trust) In 1977, Dr Robert Ballard was part of a team of scientists who made an incredible discovery on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean that forever changed our understanding life on planet Earth. In 2015, I was incredibly lucky to be part of a team to re-visit these historic sites with Dr Ballard.

Characterization of deep-sea benthic invertebrate megafauna of the Galapagos Islands
Characterization of deep-sea benthic invertebrate megafauna of the Galapagos Islands

(Credit Ocean Exploration Trust) Seamounts are prominent features of deep seafloor of the Galapagos archipelago and until recently, these extinct volcanoes and the biological communities that live on them, have remained largely unexplored. For the first time, we explored three seamounts, where we reveal fragile coral and sponge communities hosting thirty deep-sea invertebrate species that are new science.

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RESEARCH | CONTRIBUTIONS

As a deep-sea ecologist, I am interested in the distribution and abundance of deep-sea species, and the relationship between these animals and the environment.

 

My research is a multidisciplinary science that relies on the expertise of both geoscientists and biologists with the aim to investigate the mechanisms that underlie community structure, composition and ecological dynamics, and how they are altered by anthropogenic impacts (e.g. mining, trawling) and environmental change (e.g. climate, natural hazards).

Each image in the gallery above shows an aspect of my research to date. For more information, click each image for associated media release and/or access to publication.