Dr. Timothy Shank : Introduction
I'm Tim Shank. I'm an assistant scientist from the biology department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Things I enjoy most about working at sea are being out there with the animals. I'm a deep sea biologist. I want to see the animals. I want to touch the animals. I want to learn more about them. Every time you bring back animals, you'll learn something. It's often that we find a new species on the deep Atlantic Stepping Stone cruise. There may be half a dozen new species that we encounter and that we learn about that have some novel morphology; something that we haven't seen before. Just um.., so it's working with the animals. That's first and foremost. Then there's working with the people that share a common dedication to doing exploration and research. And it's incorporating your goals with theirs and being exhausted at the end of the cruise. Knowing you accomplished all these great things.
My job really consists of many facets. When I'm in my office, I'm writing research proposals, creating new ideas, new projects. I'm also writing research papers on what we found and the analysis that we've done.
The goals of my research are really to understand the ecological and evolutionary processes that structure marine diversity. Species that we see. Why are they where they are? How are they so diverse? How did they become to be so diverse? So my focus.., my research really is on hydrothermal vent systems as well as hydrocarbon seep systems around the world. But I'm also incorporating other isolated and patchy environments, like seamounts. And that was my real interest on this previous cruise. The deep Atlantic Stepping Stone cruise.