Benthic Communities and Their Biopharmaceutical Potential Across Mineral-Rich Marine Biomes

Mission Logs

Follow along as participants in the cruise provide updates and reflections on their experiences, the science, the technology, and other elements of the expedition.

  • Invertebrates of the Deep Sea

    November 5, 2020 | By Kaila Pearson

    This whimsical creature is identified as a ‘macellicephalin scale worm’ and was collected by ROV Hercules during this cruise.

    Not only are invertebrates alluring and dazzling critters, they are also extremely important for the health of the seafloor. Each species and individual has a significant role in keeping its greater ecosystem in working order.

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  • Why Are Biodiversity Surveys Important?

    November 2, 2020 | By Devin Vlach

    A large Macrocystic kelp fall was observed on the Patton Escarpment being grazed upon by fragile pink urchins (Strongylocentrotus fragilis) at 728 meters (~2,388 feet). Many other invertebrate species and some fishes were observed to live in and around the kelp fall. Sea cucumbers (Pannychia sp.) and sea pens were more characteristic of the surrounding soft bottom community.

    Although we know global biodiversity is decreasing, we don’t have enough data to fully understand how marine ecosystems are being affected.

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  • Who Should Care About the Deep Ocean and Why Should We Explore It?

    October 29, 2020 | By Lisa Levin

    Along the central Patton Ridge, brisingid sea stars, anemones, and sponges were observed to occur in high densities on steep, iron-manganese encrusted rocky faces.

    The research planned for this expedition to mineral-rich settings in the deep waters off southern California is a small step on this road to deep ocean sustainability.

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