Explorers on Exploring Alaska's Seamounts

Amy R. Baco-Taylor, Ph.D.
Erin Bastian
Sue Doenges
Rob Dunbar
Martin Fisk, Ph.D.
Thomas P. Guilderson, Ph.D.
Taylor Heyl
Zachary Hoyt
Randy Keller
Catalina Martinez
Christopher Moy
Julie Nielsen
Brendan Roark
Michael Rowe
Chris J. Russo
Margaret Sexton
Thomas C. Shirley
Bradley Stevens, Ph.D.
Naomi Ward, Ph.D.

Amy R. Baco-Taylor, PhDAmy R. Baco-Taylor, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Amy R. Baco-Taylor received a BS in marine biology and a BS in molecular biology from Florida Institute of Technology. She then moved to the University of Hawaii, where she just completed her PhD in oceanography, studying the succession and phylogenetics of invertebrates associated with deep-sea whale skeletons. Beginning a postdoctorate at Wood's Hole just a week before this cruise, Dr. Baco-Taylor will be studying population genetics of deep-water corals. Her general research interests are the ecology and evolution of benthic marine organisms.

Erin BastianErin Bastian
Oregon State University

Erin Bastian is a junior in the biology department at Oregon State University with an emphasis on marine microbiology. She received a fellowship for this summer to conduct independent research on microbial communities in rock and water samples, and is helping Martin Fisk on this cruise with the microbial aspects of the rocks. She will be preserving rock and water samples for DNA analysis, and will be starting cultures to try and identify potential rock-eating microbes.

Sue DoengesSue Doenges
Fifth Grade Teacher
Mill Street Elementary School-Naperville, Illinois

A teacher, an adventurer, a risk taker all are labels that apply to Sue Doenges. Sue has a degree in elementary education, a Master's degree in Education, and over twenty-five years experience in education. She presently teaches fifth graders in Naperville, Illinois, which provides her with the opportunity to teach multiple subjects to ten and eleven year old students. Along with being a life-long student, Sue considers herself to be an adventurer, and believes that this allows her to better understand our planet. Her adventures have led her to assist in observing the effects of the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park, to study geology at the base of the Grand Canyon, and now to voyage to the Gulf of Alaska with an incredible group of scientists. Sue has dabbled in white water rafting, hiking, and sky diving, but her greatest passion is golf.

Rob Dunbar, Ph.D.Rob Dunbar, Ph.D.
Stanford University

Rob Dunbar received his Ph.D. in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. After teaching at Rice University in Texas for 16 years, he moved to Stanford in 1997 to start a new program in Coastal Oceanography. Besides leading the Oceans Program, he also directs the Stanford University Stable Isotope Laboratory. Dunbar was recently named the first director of Stanford's new Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Environment and Resources. His research focuses on climate change in the tropics and the Southern Ocean. He has been to Antarctica more than 20 times, leading research expeditions that include both undergraduate and graduate students. Dunbar has worked with reef-building corals as climate history archives since 1977 and in more recent years has begun working on deep sea coral species collected by submersible diving.

Martin Fisk, Ph.D.Martin Fisk, Ph.D.
Oregon State University, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences

Martin Fisk currently is conducting research on microorganisms beneath the ocean floor. The Earth's biosphere is traditionally thought of as the zone of plants and animals near the surface, but it is now suspected that the amount of living matter in the mud and rocks in the ocean floor could equal or exceed – pound for pound – all the living matter on the Earth's surface. We now know that microorganisms in the oceanic subsurface biosphere can be found as deep as 1,500 meters below the surface, and in rocks up to 170 million years old. Some microorganisms derive energy from inorganic chemical reactions, and, therefore, could live in water-rock ecosystems elsewhere in the solar system. Dr. Fisk received his PhD from the University of Rhode Island, and spends about one month a year on research expeditions to study the volcanic rocks of the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern oceans. For the past six years, he has been investigating the colonization of volcanic rocks by bacteria, and recently spent six months working with NASA to test instruments that can detect bacteria in rocks. He is the director of the Subsurface Biosphere Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program at Oregon State and Portland State Universities. This program provides stipends, tuition, and research and travel expenses for students pursuing PhD degrees.

Thomas P. Guilderson, Ph.D.Thomas P. Guilderson, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Center for AMS, LLNL and Dept. of Ocean Sciences, University of California at Santa Cruz

Tom Guilderson received his PhD in earth and environmental sciences at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University in 1997, and holds a BS in marine sciences from the University of South Carolina. After several years of leading a bicoastal migratory existence, spending time at Princeton and Harvard in addition to the Center for AMS, he settled into a West Coast habitat in the spring of 2001. His research has focused on the role of the tropics in climate change over interannual (e.g., El Nino) to glacial-interglacial time scales. A common thread through his research is to document and understand natural climate variability over decadal-centennial time scales, and how anthropogenic activities are changing climate and the carbon cycle. Subjects of interest include isotopic and chemical oceanographic tracers, biogeochemistry, foraminifera and coral ecology, the interaction of sea level and climate, paleo-oceanography, geochronology, and marine geology.

Taylor HeylTaylor Heyl
National Marine Fisheries Service
Kodiak, Alaska

Taylor Heyl received a B.S. with a focus in marine and freshwater biology from the University of New Hampshire and spent her final year completing independent research involving the reproductive development of Atlantic Hagfish in the Gulf of Maine. She spent two years at the Shoals Marine Lab on Appledore Island in the Gulf of Maine and then worked as a fisheries observer for the Ocean Technology Foundation in Jamestown, Rhode Island. She then moved to Kodiak, Alaska for a position with the International Pacific Halibut Commission, and was recruited by NMFS for the Gulf of Alaska Seamount Expedition. Her interests are in deep-sea biology with an emphasis on research utilizing ROVs and submersibles. She intends to further her studies in biological oceanography within the next year.

Zachary HoytZachary Hoyt
Graduate Student
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Zachary Hoyt is currently a graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks at the Juneau Center of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. His master's project, which is nearing completion, was a submersible project observing and documenting habitat and movement of the deep living king crab, Lithodes aequispinus, in Southeast Alaska. Zac received his Bachelors of Science from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and attended Hawaii Pacific University to escape the cold and dark of Alaska's interior during his junior year. During his graduate studies he has ventured away to study at the Friday Harbor Marine Lab on San Juan Island, WA. He is an avid climber with several successful climbs in the Alaska Range, Tetons and volcanoes of Mexico. He is an active SCUBA diver and lives on a sailboat in Auke Bay, AK. During his graduate studies he has taken advantage of Juneau's location exploring the vast waterways, endless glaciers and unique biodiversity of Southeast AK. He has participated in several research cruises for the University, Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S.G.S. in Glacier Bay. Zac is planning on graduating this academic year and will continue to be involved with Alaska's coastal ecosystems.

Randy KellerRandy Keller
Assistant Professor
Oregon State University

Randy Keller is interested in volcanic geology, and studies the chemistry and timing of volcanic eruptions to try to understand how volcanoes work. He has studied active volcanoes in Antarctica, and enjoys visiting the land of ice, rocks, and penguins whenever possible. He has been studying the volcanic seamounts of the northern Pacific and Gulf of Alaska ever since he was a graduate student, and has been on two expeditions of the Ocean Drilling Program to drill and sample the volcanic geology of the long chain of seamounts that extends from the Hawaiian Islands all the way up to the northwest corner of the Pacific near Siberia. He is an assistant professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University (visit Randy Keller's Web site exit icon) and enjoys living and working in geologically active surroundings.

Catalina MartinezCatalina Martinez
University of Rhode Island

Catalina Martinez joined NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration (OE) as a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Sea Grant Fellow this year from the University of Rhode Island's (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography. Her participation on several research cruises led to her interest in OE, and she is very excited to be working as the expedition coordinator on the Gulf of Alaska Seamount Exploration Expedition. Ms. Martinez is a continuing PhD candidate in URI's Graduate School of Oceanography, where she completed a masters in 2000. Her graduate work described the reproductive biology of the monkfish, Lophius americanus. She worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Woods Hole, MA, to provide updated maturity information for the management of overfished North Atlantic stock. She completed an additional masters in Marine Affairs from URI in 2002. Her thesis work compared two natural resource management regimes -- the lobster fishery of Maine, and the Galapagos Marine Resources Reserve. Ms. Martinez spent several years during graduate school working to develop and implement education programs as an outreach educator in marine science through URI's Office of Marine Programs, as well as through the National Science Foundation's K-12 Graduate Teaching Fellowship. Most of her work was with an alternative middle school for potential dropout students in Providence, RI, called the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program.

Christopher MoyChristopher Moy
PhD Student
Stanford University

I'm a first year Ph.D. student working with Rob Dunbar at Stanford University. I just arrived to the west coast in January after a year working as a Data Analyst/Manager at the NOAA Paleoclimatology Program in Boulder, CO. My undergraduate and MS research, which I did while at Union College and Syracuse University respectively, consisted of reconstructing climate variability in the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Andes using lake sediment records from high-altitude lakes. These projects have mainly focused on gaining a better understanding of changes in glacial ice extent and El Nino-Southern Oscillation variability during the last 10,000 years in South America. Although my research has been largely situated in the terrestrial realm, I'm excited to apply my past work to problems in paleoceanography. My current research interests include using high-resolution coral and sediment records to reconstruct atmospheric/oceanic variability. Additionally, I'm interested in using lake sediment records from Tierra del Fuego to gain a better understanding of changes in moisture balance and the intensity of the Southern Hemisphere westerly wind field through time.

Julie NielsenJulie Nielsen
Graduate Student
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Julie Nielsen has a variety of field experience in biology, ranging from research with harbor and ringed seals to intertidal and invertebrate ecology. She is beginning graduate school at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (Juneau Center of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences), where she is looking forward to learning more about invertebrate communities and commercially harvested crabs in Alaska. She wants to help keep Alaska's marine and coastal areas healthy and to prevent some of the adverse effects that humans can have on marine ecosystems. Marine reserve design and monitoring, environmental monitoring and risk assessment, identification and protection of essential fish habitat, and development of ecosystem-based fisheries management practices are some of her interests. She holds a B.S. in biology from the University of Alaska Southeast as well as a B.A. in Russian and economics from Oregon State University. She loves living in Juneau, where the ocean, mountains, and glaciers make many kinds of adventure possible.

Brendan RoarkBrendan Roark
Graduate Student
University of California at Berkeley

Brendan is a graduate student in the Geography Department at the University of California at Berkeley. Subjects of primary interest include paleoceanography, biogeochemistry, coral ecology and climate change on sub-annual to glacial-interglacial timescales. Previous and current projects have focused on changes in North Pacific circulation over the last 30,000 years using radiocarbon age differences between benthic and planktonic foraminifera and high resolution stable isotope and trace element measurements on reef building corals studying bleaching events and the associated climatic and oceanographic variability. Part of his current work focuses on deep-corals as archives of paleoclimate and paleoceanographic variability. Previous fieldwork has include four research cruises; three coring cruise in the Atlantic and one Alvin cruise in the Pacific along with several coral coring expeditions in French Polynesia and on the Great Barrier Reef.

Michael RoweMichael Rowe
Graduate Student
Oregon State University

Michael is currently working on his Ph.D. at Oregon State University after completing his B.S. in Geology from Washington State University in 2001. His previous studies focused on the evolution of magma in the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico prior to the formation of the Valles Caldera. Michael's dissertation work, under advisor Roger Nielsen, includes studying mantle/crustal melting dynamics beneath subduction zones through melt inclusion geochemistry and volatile analysis. Some of Michael's many other interests include applying geochemical data to modeling melt migration beneath volcanic arcs and continuing his work on the evolution of large magmatic systems.

Chris J. RussoChris J. Russo
Oregon State University
College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences

Chris Russo's research interests revolve around the study of igneous processes in basaltic systems. His research focuses on the use of geochemical data to better understand the affects that source heterogeneity, partial melting, and magmatic differentiation have on these volcanic systems. Mr. Russo received a BS in geology from the University of Iowa, and a masters in geology from Oregon State University, where he focused on the trace element composition of mineral phases from recent eruptions on Mt. Etna volcano in Sicily. His work has also taken him to the Southern Ocean and South Pacific to study volcanic features on the seafloor.

Margaret SextonMargaret Sexton
Coastal Carolina University

Margaret Sexton is an undergraduate student studying Marine Science and Biology at Coastal Carolina University. Maggie is currently serving an internship at the University of Alaska Southeast where she is conducting a study concerning the hormone ecdysone in invertebrates. She plans to complete her undergraduate study in the fall of 2003, and will then pursue a graduate degree.

Thomas C. ShirleyThomas C. Shirley
University of Alaska's School of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences

Dr. Thomas C. Shirley has been a Professor of Invertebrate Biology at the Juneau Center, School of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, for 20 years. Tom was born and raised in Texas, receiving his B.S. and M.S. from Texas A&M at Kingsville; he was awarded his Ph.D. from LSU, where he also was on the faculty for several years before coming to Alaska. Tom teaches graduate courses in Marine Biology, Benthic Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Benthic Ecology. His research activities focus on crab ecology, but his interests and current research are diverse. Tom has described new species of marine organisms from several phyla, including both macrofauna and meiofauna from the Arctic to the Antarctic; currently he is describing a new priapulid worm from submarine caves in southern Italy. Tom has been a P.I. on a large number of marine projects, including 6 prior manned submersible projects. He is returning from sabbatical travels to Japan and Australia; his previous sabbaticals were in Australia, Europe and at Duke University. Tom enjoys fishing, boating, hiking, camping and scuba.

Bradley Stevens, Ph.D.Bradley Stevens, Ph.D.
Fishery Research Biologist
National Marine Fisheries Service, Kodiak, Alaska

Dr. Bradley Stevens received his Ph.D. in Fisheries from the University of Washington in 1982. Since 1984 he has been a Fishery Research Biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Kodiak, Alaska. He specializes in the life history and mating behavior of king and Tanner crabs, using a variety of submersibles, ROV's, and towed video camera sleds of his own design. He has made a total of over 60 dives in the Delta, Alvin, and Pisces submersibles. When not immersed in scientific research, Dr. Stevens plays the drums with jazz and rock combos, or hammered dulcimer in an Irish folk music group. He also co-directs the Kodiak Island Drummers, a group of 20 drummers ranging from 3rd to 11th grade. He has written and recorded three music CD's about life in Alaska with the Kodiak musical group “Waterbound.”

Naomi Ward, Ph.D.Naomi Ward, Ph.D.
Collaborative Investigator
The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR)
Rockville, MD

Naomi Ward holds a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and received her PhD in Biological Sciences in 1997 from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Her background is primarily in microbial systematics and taxonomy, in particular the use of 16S ribosomal RNA as a taxonomic tool for prokaryotes, and in molecular microbial ecology. After several years spent in postdoctoral studies and teaching at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, she moved to TIGR in mid-2001. Her current research includes conducting whole-genome sequencing projects on microbes of ecological and evolutionary interest, as well as characterizing microbial communities (both cultured members and those which have never been cultivated in the lab) using genomic approaches. Genomic information can be used in a variety of ways including: (a) as an aid in predicting the biology of the species (by first identifying all the putative genes and then using bioinformatic approaches to predict the function of each gene and thus make better predictions about the metabolism and physiology of the organism); (b) to design better culturing methods; (c) to study the evolution of the whole genome; (d) to perform population genetic studies and (e) to use so-called "post-genomic approaches" to study the biology of the species (e.g., proteomics, or whole-genome DNA arrays).


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