NEW ZEEPS 06 Explorers

Amy R. Baco-TaylorAmy R. Baco-Taylor, PhD
Principal Investigator and Co-Voyage Leader
Visiting Investigator, Biology Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Amy 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 completed her PhD in oceanography, studying the succession and phylogenetics of invertebrates associated with deep-sea whale skeletons. Baco-Taylor is now a Visiting Investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her current research includes projects on whale fall and sunken-wood ecology as well as on seamount invertebrates, particularly deep-sea corals. Her general research interests are the ecology and evolution of benthic marine organisms. She has participated in 34 research cruises, many of which included numerous submersible and remotely operated vehicle dives.


Angelo F. BernardinoAngelo F. Bernardino
Doctoral Candidate, Biological Oceanography
University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Angelo Bernardino is a PhD student from University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. He currently works as a research scholar at Dr. Craig Smith’s lab at University of Hawaii. Bernardino’s research interest focuses on ecology of large organic parcels at the deep-sea floor. In his doctoral thesis, he will compare communities found at whale carcasses and wood- and kelp-falls with those colonizing cold seeps in the northeast Pacific. In this cruise, he assisted in most sampling and processing activities. This was the first international cruise in which he had the opportunity to participate, and the research vessel Tangaroa was the largest ship he has ever sailed.


David BowdenDavid Bowden
Postdoctoral Benthic Ecologist
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
Wellington, New Zealand

David Bowden has recently arrived at National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) from the United Kingdom to work on the development of seabed imaging methods and the subsequent ecological analysis of video and still images. On the NEW ZEEPS 06 voyage, his main roles were to operate the various underwater camera systems, including the deep-towed imaging system (DTIS), and to keep photographic records of specimens brought to the surface by conventional sampling gear. His real work, however, will begin on return to shore when he will be responsible for making sense of the thousands of still images and many hours of video tape we bring back from the seep sites. Bowden completed his PhD on benthic recruitment processes while working for the British Antarctic Survey and spent two and a half years in, on, and diving under the ice.


Tyler FoxTyler Fox

Tyler Fox assisted with the preparation and preservation of specimens and samples on the NEW ZEEPS 06 cruise. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia in 2004.


Dr. Jens GreinertJens Greinert, PhD
Marine Geologist and Geochemist
Marie Curie Fellow at Gent University, Belgium/Working at GNS Science, New Zealand

Dr. Jens Greinert's main work on this cruise was dedicated to the visual sea-floor observations and flare mapping, providing the base for the underwater navigation and online logging of observations. For this he adapted a software program (which he started to develop six years ago) to link to the available position information of the ship and the towed device provided by the ship's data system. He also ran the conductivity, temperature and depth (CTD) sampling and took care of the echosounder systems to find and map bubbles in the water column, the best remote proof for active seepage. Greinert has been carrying out seep research for 11 years and worked in the west Pacific off both North and South America, in the Atlantic, the North Sea, Black Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, offshore Japan and now offshore New Zealand. He received his diploma in geology and palaeontology in Braunschweig, Germany, before he started his career as a marine geologist at the GEOMAR Research Centre in Kiel, Germany. He will be co-Principal Investigator on a cruise with the German research vessel Sonne in January 2007 to study in more detail some of the seep sites found on this survey.


Peter HillPeter Hill
Eletronics and Software Engineer
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
New Zealand

Peter Hill is an electronics and software engineer who designed the deep-towed imaging system (DTIS) that provided all the underwater still photos and video footage for the NEW ZEEPS 06 voyage. He has a long history of successful design and development for equipment used in the unforgiving oceanographic research environment. He has co-authored several papers relating to instrument design.


Lisa LevinLisa Levin, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Dr. Lisa Levin is a professor and researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California-San Diego in La Jolla, CA. She studies communities of animals that live in the mud, salt marshes, estuaries, the continental shelf, and the deep sea. Her research themes include adaptation to stressful environments, the study of food webs, ecosystem-level effects of plant invasions, and connectivity of coastal populations. On this expedition, she focused on the small creatures that inhabit the sediment and rocks of cold seeps. She will describe the animal composition and lifestyles, and use biochemical markers to examine which organisms are relying on chemosynthesis for their nutrition.


Jennifer MorrisonJennifer Morrison
Professional Research Assistant
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Jennifer Morrison assisted in the processing of water and sediment samples as well as the sorting, identifying, cataloging, and preserving of the organisms collected by various methods of direct sampling. She received a BA in biology from the University of Virginia, in 2004, and is currently working as a research assistant in the Department of Cardiology at the University of Colorado.


Carlos NeiraCarlos Neira
Marine Biologist
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Carlos Neira is involved in the sampling and processing of sediment samples for the study of meiofauna and sediment properties. In 1992, he received his PhD at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, with his dissertation on organic carbon cycling by a capitellid polychaete and the role of meiofauna in the degradation of organic matter. He worked in the biochemistry group at the same university until 2000, focusing his research on the effects of reducing conditions on meiofauna distribution in intertidal sediments. He also has focused his interest on meiofauna of oxygen minimum zones, particularly of the southeastern Pacific, and the effects of ENSO-related events on meio- and macrofauna and sediment biogeochemistry. Currently, Neira is a project scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research focuses on biological invasions, specifically investigating the impact of an invasive cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) on macrofaunal benthic communities in San Francisco Bay.


Alan OrphinAlan Orpin
Marine Geologist
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
Greta Point, Wellington

Alan Orpin helped to identify likely seeps sites from marine geophysics and geological information collected from this cruise and from archival information. During the survey, he was the unofficial rock identifier and watch leader, working closely with Jens Greinert and Arne Pallentin on sounder, sea-floor observation, and GIS information. His interests in seep-related rocks stems from his MSc study at University of Otago that examined seep carbonate (limestone) chimneys from the outermost Otago continental shelf. He is currently working elsewhere on the North Island East Coast examining Holocene sedimentation patterns and anthropogenic impacts adjacent to very muddy rivers, following on from themes developed in his PhD from James Cook University and postdocs at NIWA and the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic).


Brian Lee PaavoBrian Lee Paavo
Doctoral Candidate, Marine Science Department
University of Otago

Brian Paavo is a marine invertebrate ecologist originally posted on the voyage to assist with meiofaunal sample collection and processing for his supervisor, Dr. Keith Probert. As often happens on short-handed excursions, everyone became proficient in several areas of deck duties. Consequently, the majority of his ship time was spent processing water and sediment samples for methane analysis by Dr. Cliff Law, sulfide and water content analysis for Dr. Lisa Levin. He received his BS in zoology at the University of Hawaii-Manoa and has recently submitted his PhD thesis work on invertebrate communities near dredge spoil disposal areas of Otago Harbour.


Arne PallentinArne Pallentin
Geographic Information Systems Analyst
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

On this voyage, Arne Pallentin operated the SIMRAD EM300 multibeam system on the research vessel Tangaroa, processed the data, and generated geographic information systems (GIS) outputs. He received an MSc equivalent in geology/palaentology from the University of Göttingen, Germany, in 1998, studying carbonate petrography. He has a life long interest in cartography, and developed this into a career in GIS. His current interest is in applying GIS techniques to habitat mapping, utilizing multibeam bathymetry, and backscatter signals from the multibeam.


Ashley RowdenAshley Rowden, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator and Co-Voyage Leader

Benthic Ecologist
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
Wellington, New Zealand

Ashley Rowden is an ecologist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Wellington, New Zealand. He has over 15 years of research experience in the aquatic realm, studying anything from meiofauna to dolphins, on tidal flats to the deep-sea, comprising untold hours wading in mud to many weeks on the high seas. His interests include observing, describing and understanding patterns in the marine environment. He is particularly interested in pattern formation and maintenance in benthic "communities" of soft sediments, complex biogenic substrates, and of habitats such as seamounts, vents, and seeps.



Kareen SchnabelKareen Schnabel
Collection Manager/Marine Invertebrates
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
Wellington, New Zealand

Kareen Schnabel coordinated the identifying, cataloging, and preserving of organisms, rocks, and sediment that were collected by the various sampling gear and then logged all data in the specimen database. Schnabel received an MSc at the University of Waikato in 2000 and is currently enrolled part-time as a PhD student at the University of Otago,where she studies the taxonomy and distribution of galatheid and chirostylid crustaceans in the southwestern Pacific. Kareen has recently taken up the position as collection manager of the NIWA Invertebrate Collection and will be in charge of the biological data management and dissemination of the after completion of the voyage.


Craig SmithCraig Smith, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator

Professor of Oceanography
University of Hawaii

Craig Smith is a professor of oceanography at the University of Hawaii with strong interests in biodiversity, disturbance ecology, and chemosynthetic ecosystems in the deep sea. In 1983, he obtained his PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where he became interested in the ecology of whale falls at the deep-sea floor. Smith then used a postdoctoral fellowship at Woods Hole Oceanography Institution to explore colonization processes in intertidal communities. Subsequently, he spent four years at the University of Washington, exploring the effects of natural disturbance, mining, and radioactive waste disposal on deep-sea communities. He has recently received a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation for his conservation work in the vast and poorly understood deep sea, where high diversity, fragile habitats, and slow recovery rates allow human activities (e.g., trawling and mining) to be especially damaging. Smith has conducted research in Antarctica, mangroves, submarine canyons, and abyssal-plain habitats to obtain a broad perspective on ecological processes natural and stressed marine ecosystems. He also has served as Chief Scientist on 50 research cruises (including 25 remotely operated vehicle (ROV)/submersible cruises using Alvin, Tiburon, Pisces IV and V, Sea Cliff, Turtle, ATV, Scorpio, and a variety of other ROVs and submersibles), and has participated in about 220 submersible and ROV dives.


Darren StevensDarren Stevens
Fisheries Biologist
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
Wellington, New Zealand

On this cruise, Darren Stevens assisted with the processing of sediment and invertebrate samples from a variety of direct sampling techniques, and the processing and identification of fish species from benthic trawls. Stevens completed his master of science degree with honors from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, in 1993. He has been involved with fisheries research for over 10 years and is a regular participant on fisheries trawl surveys. He leads an annual deep-water hoki trawl survey of the Chatham Rise every January. He is currently studying the diet of deep-water grenadiers and ghostsharks from the Chatham Rise, New Zealand, and Antarctic toothfish and deep-sea icefish from the Ross Sea, Antarctica. This includes the study of fish otoliths and cephalopod beaks for prey identification. He has also been involved with a number of age and growth studies on New Zealand commercial fish species, in particular flatfish.


Andrew ThurberAndrew Thurber
Doctoral Candidate, Biological Oceanography
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Andrew Thurber is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography whose main interest is benthic ecology. The goal of his doctoral study is to elucidate, using lipid-based techniques, the role that microbes play in deep-sea metazoan food webs As part of the research vessel Tangaroa cruise, he spent many a day in front of a microscope separating animals from mud for later analysis.


Di TraceyDi Tracey
Deep-sea Biologist
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

Di Tracey coordinated the identification (to main taxonomic groups) of all invertebrates that were sampled by the various sampling gear and ensured they were catalogued for database entry and preserved. She also ran the fish-trawl sampling component of the trip and provided summary updates from the trawl database of station data throughout the voyage. Tracey has been studying deep-sea fish for fisheries stock assessment purposes for over 20 years. Lately, she has expanded her interests to examine life on specific deep-sea habitats, such as seamounts. This research includes studies on coral ageing and growth as well as the distribution of reef-forming scleractinian corals.


Kimberley WeersingKimberley Weersing
MSc Candidate, Oceanography
University of Hawaii-Honolulu

Kim Weersing assisted in the processing of samples from the epibenthic sled, multicorer, beam trawl, ratcatcher trawl, and grab during this cruise. She obtained her BSc in zoology from the University of Victoria in Canada in 2001. She then worked on several different research projects around North America before settling on a graduate program that satisfied her interests in conservation and marine science. Weersing is currently at the University of Hawaii oceanography department, working on her thesis project on population connectivity and marine reserve design.

Helena WiklundHelena Wiklund
Doctoral Student, Zoomorphology
Goteborg University, Sweden

Helena is a PhD student working with taxonomy and phylogeny of polychaetes living on whale falls. She has received an MSc in zoomorphology at Goteborg University, studying phylogeny of Aphroditiformia, the scale-worm polychaetes. During the cruise with the research vessel Tangaroa, she assisted in the processing and sorting of the collected samples. In New Zealand waters, she was very happy to see albatrosses, whales (living) and vestimentiferans for the first time in her life.