Russian-American Long-term Census of the Arctic (RUSALCA) 2004 Explorers


Carin Ashjian Carin Ashjian
Biological Oceanographer
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Carin Ashjian is a biological oceanographer, specializing in zooplankton and biological-physical associations. Her particular interest is in polar regions, and she has worked in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. She received her PhD at the University of Rhode Island. After graduate school, she worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Miami, before moving to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). At WHOI, Dr. Ashjian started using the video plankton recorder (VPR), an underwater microscope that counts plankton and particles. This August, she will be in the eastern Chukchi Sea on the USCGC Healy, conducting VPR studies.

Anatoliy Astakhov

Anatoliy Astakhov
Pacific Oceanological Institute -- Russian Federation

Anatoliy Astakhov is a senior research scientist at the Pacific Oceanological Institute in Vladivostok, Russia. Dr. Astakhov received his PhD in 1999 from the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology in Moscow. His research interests relate to sedimentology and sediment chemistry. He has published three books in Russian and has over 120 publications in journals and conference materials. On the RUSALCA cruise, he is part of the geological investigation team looking at the sediment and mineralogical composition of the ocean floor. 

Arianne Balsom Arianne Balsom
Marine Ecologist
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Arianne Balsom is participating in the RUSALCA cruise on behalf of the Marine Ecology and Biogeochemistry Group (MEBG) at the University of Tennessee (UT). Her goal is to characterize marine benthic communities in the areas visited by the Professor Khromov through species identification, biomass determinations, and sediment chemistry analyses. In 2000, she received her BS in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). She was also the first woman at UTK to receive a BA in marine biology. She received her MS in ecology and evolutionary biology in 2003. Currently, she is the research coordinator for the MEBG at UT.

Bodil A. Bluhm Bodil A. Bluhm
Research Assistant Professor
Institute of Marine Science
School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska

Bodil Bluhm, a native of Germany, is a marine ecologist with a research focus on marine invertebrates from high latitudes. She received her MS from the Institute of Polar Ecology at Kiel University in Germany; she earned her PhD from the Alfred-Wegener-Institute Bremerhaven/University of Bremen, before she moved to Alaska in 2001. Her research has focused on growth and age of sea-floor inhabiting invertebrates and on coupling processes between sea floor, water column, and sea ice, as well as the food webs within and connecting these realms. Bluhm has participated in several Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. During the RUSALCA expedition, she will investigate the sea-floor megafauna communities of the Chukchi shelf.

Morgan S. Busby Morgan S. Busby
Research Fishery Biologist/Ichthyoplankton Specialist
NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center

Morgan S. Busby has worked as an ichthyoplankton specialist at NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, WA since 1988. His previous research experiences include the taxonomy of ichthyoplankton in the California current region and the ecology of juvenile salmonids in northern California estuaries. He earned a BS in zoology from San Diego State University in 1985 and an MS in fisheries from Humboldt State University in 1991. His current research interests include ichthyoplankton taxonomy, species assemblages, and fisheries oceanography in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. He has participated in numerous research cruises, sometimes serving as chief scientist. For the RUSALCA project, he is collaborating with Brenda Holladay and Brenda Norcoss on ichthyoplankton, juvenile fish, and fisheries oceanography studies of the Bering and Chukchi seas.

Georgy Cherkashov Georgy Cherkashov
St. Petersburg, Russia

Dr. Cherkashov graduated from St. Petersburg State University in 1979. He was a graduate student at the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology in Moscow, and received his PhD in 1990 for the study of metalliferous sediments of high-temperature sulfide-forming hydrothermal fields. In 1992, he became the deputy director of VNIIOkeangeologia, where he is responsible for deep-sea resource research, mineral exploration in the Arctic, marine geological and environmental studies, development of new technology for ocean exploration, and international cooperation in deep-sea and Arctic exploration. He has been the chief scientist of expeditions in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans and co-chief scientist for the Russian-American-Norwegian-German-and-Japanese expeditions in the Norwegian Greenland Seas from 1986 to 2000. Dr. Cherkashov has published 90 articles.

Kathleen Crane Kathleen Crane
RUSALCA Mission Coordinator -- U.S.

Kathleen Crane is the U.S. mission coordinator for the RUSALCA Expedition. She serves as program manager in the NOAA Arctic Research Office. In 1977, she received her PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where she took part in discovering the Galapagos hydrothermal vents. Dr. Crane later moved to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to study mid-ocean ridges. She has been employed at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University; Supervisory Research Oceanography at the Naval Research Laboratory; and Hunter College, City University of New York. Dr. Crane has been a visiting scientist at numerous institutions, including the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of Hawaii; the University of Oslo, Norway; the University of Paris, France; and at the Environmental Defense Fund, where she helped to develop the Arctic At Risk Program. She has helped coordinate 18 international expeditions (with Russia, Japan, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Canada); has participated in 38 expeditions at sea; and has been the chief scientist of 18.

Mark Dennett Mark Dennett
Research Specialist
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Mark Dennett came to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution after college and has been working in the field of microbial ecology for almost 30 years. Over the past 10 years, he has been involved in the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study in both the Arabian Sea and the Ross Sea Southern Ocean programs. Recently, he returned to the Ross Sea to examine protistan diversity within the sea ice and the water column, using both traditional culturing/microscopy and molecular techniques. He has also been using a video plankton recorder (a proto-type of the one used in this project) for determining the distribution and abundance of large, fragile protozoa. These organisms may have significant impacts on the carbon flow in the upper part of the water column by virtue of their size and ability to grow rapidly and then sink quickly out of the euphotic zone.

Brenda HolladayBrenda Holladay
Fisheries Oceanographer
University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Brenda Holladay is a fisheries oceanographer with a research focus on the distribution and feeding ecology of juvenile fishes, particularly flatfishes.  She holds a position as research associate with the Institute of Marine Science/University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF). She has an MS in fisheries oceanography and a BS in biology from UAF, and has spent 15 years researching oceanography and marine fishes in Alaska. On this cruise, Holladay, along with Brenda Norcross and Morgan Busby, will be investigating the distribution of fish eggs, fish larvae, and juvenile groundfishes relative to the frontal structures of the northern Bering Sea and the Chukchi Sea. She will collect ichthyoplankton and juvenile groundfishes.

Russell R. Hopcroft Russell R. Hopcroft
Assistant Professor
Institute of Marine Science
University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Dr. Russ Hopcroft is an assistant professor at the University of Alaska's Institute of Marine Science in Fairbanks. He received his MS in 1988, and his PhD in 1997, both from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. His graduate research focused on marine plankton ecology in the tropical waters surrounding Jamaica, West Indies. From 1997 to 1999, Dr. Hopcroft was a postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, where he was involved in the use of ROVs as well as traditional oceanographic surveys to study the oceans. He pursues an array of research interests, concentrating on the "lower" planktonic trophic levels that ultimately shape the structure of all aquatic communities. His research focuses on the composition, production, and energy flow of pelagic ecosystems, and on developing better methods to explore these topics. Although much of his research focuses on copepod and euphausiid crustaceans, he also specializes in the taxonomy, biology, and ecology of the larvacean pelagic tunicates.

Katrin IkenKatrin Iken
Assistant Professor
University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Katrin Iken was born and raised in Germany and came to the U.S. five years ago for a postdoctoral position. She has recently joined the University of Alaska, Fairbanks as an assistant professor of marine biology. Dr. Iken has participated in about 10 research cruises to the Antarctic, the Arctic, and the deep sea. Her background is in benthic ecology, especially trophic interactions and food web studies. She is part of the benthic team for the RUSALCA expedition and will be in charge of the analysis of stable isotopes once the samples are back home.

Maxim IvanovMaxim Ivanov
Laboratory Technician
Pacific Oceanological Institute – Russian Federation

Maxim Ivanov is a laboratory technician at the Marine Ore Formation Laboratory at the Pacific Oceanological Institute in the Russian Federation. During the cruise, he will be examining the distribution of mercury in the air, water, and bottom sediments.

Ksenia KosobokovaKsenia Kosobokova
Marine Ecologist
Shirshov Institute of Oceanology

Ksenia Kosobokova graduated from Moscow State University in 1975, with a degree in biology; and she earned a PhD from the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow in 1981. She has worked at the Shirshov Institute since 1976. Her primary interests are the ecology and distribution of zooplankton in the polar regions, the Arctic seas, and the Arctic Ocean, in particular. Her publications on biodiversity, seasonal population dynamics, life cycles of cold-water zooplankton, copepod reproductive biology, and egg production are widely recognized among specialists in the biology of cold-water regions. Dr. Kosobokova has participated in numerous Russian and international marine expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. She has been a member of the World Association of Copepodologists since 1993.

Igor LavrenovIgor Lavrenov
Physical Oceanographer
State Scientific Center -- Russian Federation
Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute

Igor Lavrenov has more than 25 years of experience in theoretical investigation of geophysical hydrodynamics. He currently heads the Oceanography Department at the State Scientific Center of the Russian Federation, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. In addition to his management responsibilities, he investigates oceanographic processes in the Arctic Seas through the development of mathematical methods and models for climate investigation and forecasting.


Boric Li Boric Li
Physical Oceanographer
Pacific Oceanological Institute – Russian Federation

Boric Li is currently the senior scientist with the Applied Acoustics Laboratory at the Pacific Oceanological Institute. Dr. Li received his PhD from the Far East Technical University in Vladivostok in 1992. He has published one book in Russian and over 150 publications in academic journals and conference materials. During the RUSALCA cruise, he will be responsible for conducting hydroacoustic soundings of the water column and sea bottom.

Catherine W. Mecklenburg Catherine W. Mecklenburg
University of California, Santa Barbara

Catherine W. Mecklenburg currently holds a part-time position as associate specialist with the Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara; and she also works as a field associate under contract to the Department of Ichthyology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. Since 1981, she and her husband, a physiologist-GIS expert, have worked as consultants. She was senior author for Fishes of Alaska, published by the American Fisheries Society in April 2002. She is a primary editor and checklist author for a new series, California Academy of Sciences Annotated Checklists of Fishes, which was launched early in 2003. Recent research expeditions include U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cruises to the Semidi Islands, Gulf of Alaska, in 2001 and 2004; Norton Sound, Bering Sea, in 2002; and the central Aleutian Islands in 2003. She maintains an ever-growing research and reference collection of specimens. During the RUSALCA expedition, she will be looking for fish specimens -- especially lumpsuckers (Cyclopteridae), poachers (Agonidae), sculpins (Cottidae), and pricklebacks (Stichaeidae) -- in the Chukchi Sea.

Gillian Lichota PotterGillian Lichota Potter
Research Scientist
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

In 2000, Gillian Lichota Potter received her degrees in marine biology and oceanography from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She first worked as a dive researcher along the Pacific Northwest, then went on to an ecotoxicology research project at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, British Columbia, where she studied the sources, movement, and fate of persistent environmental contaminants (PECs) in marine food chains. In 2002, she participated in the Joint Western Arctic Climate Study. Currently, she is based at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. On the RUSALCA cruise, she will gather physical and chemical oceanographic data about the Pipps Volcano; she will also serve as the data manager for NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration.

Andrey ProshutinskyAndrey Proshutinsky
Physical Oceanographer
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Andrey Proshutinsky is an associate scientist in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Physical Oceanography Department. Proshutinsky has studied the Arctic Seas for more than 25 years, and he has produced numerous publications concerning the regional oceanography and meteorology, climate change, numerical modeling of ice and water dynamics, Arctic ocean tides and storm surges, and Northern Sea Route climatology and navigation conditions.

Boris A Sheiko Boris A Sheiko
Marine Biologist
Zoological Institute
Academy of Sciences
St. Petersburg, Russia

Dr. Sheiko is a research scientist at the Laboratory of Ichthyology at the Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg. From 1981 to 2003, he participated in 21 oceanographic expeditions to the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and from the Philippine Sea to the Northern Bering Sea. Dr. Sheiko will be carrying out biological sampling over the Piips Volcano during Leg 1 of the RUSALCA expedition; he will be part of the ichthyology census team during Leg 2.

Boris Sirenko Boris Sirenko
Marine Biologist
Zoological Institute
Academy of Sciences
St. Petersburg, Russia

Dr. Sirenko specializes in the taxonomy, phylogeny, zoogeography, ecology, and paleontology of benthic organisms and analyses the bottom biogeography in the Arctic and the Antarctic. He received his PhD in 1980 from the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Since 1992, he has been the head of the Laboratory of Marine Research at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has participated on 28 marine expeditions.

Vladamir SmolinVladamir Smolin
State Research Navigation Hydrographic Institute – Russian Federation
Chief of the Expedition -- RUSALCA

Vladamir Smolin is a hydrographer with the Russian Federation State Research Navigation Hydrographic Institute of the Ministry of Defense. He received his diploma in hydrographic engineering from the Leningrad Naval Academy in 1982. He has worked with various units of the Hydrographic Service of the Pacific Fleet on the Kurils, Sakhalin Island, Soviet Harbor and in Nilolaevsk-on-Amur, where he was a commander of the military unit and chief of the Hydrographical Service. He will serve on the RUSALCA as the Chief of the Expedition for the Russian Federation Department of the Navy.


Sarah ThorntonSarah Thornton
Research Technician
University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Sarah Thornton has been a research technician with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks since January 2001. On the RUSALCA cruise, she will be deploying a mooring in the Bering Strait.

Terry WhitledgeTerry Whitledge
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Chief Scientist -- RUSALCA

A chemical/biological oceanographer, Terry Whitledge has been studying the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean, with respect to nutrient dynamics and responses by the plankton communities, for more than 25 years. The phytoplankton's requirement of light and inorganic nutrients in order to grow often controls the food available to the higher tropic levels, such as zooplankton and fishes. The complex interactions of winds, changing temperatures, ice cover, and fresh-water input from the land create a physical environment that is nearly always changing. This also causes the growth of plankton to respond to a wide range of environmental conditions. The object of the Arctic exploration studies is to document some of the nutrient and light effects on phytoplankton growth, under the ice and in open water (where it occurs). Analysis of the salinity and temperature, along with nutrient and light conditions, will allow for future predictions of the effects of global climate change in the Arctic, as temperatures increase and ice cover diminishes.

Mikhail Zhdanov Mikhail Zhdanov
RUSALCA Project Manager -- Russia

Mikhail Zhadanov received his PhD in oceanography in 1983 from the Shirshov Institute of Oceanography of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He also earned an MBA in entrepreneurship from the University of Victoria in Canada, in 2002. He has published a number of papers in ocean physics and marine geophysics in academic peer-reviewed journals and a paper in marketing and relationship management in the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. His research experience includes nearly two years at sea; and his administrative experience includes managing research, ecological, and high-tech commercial international projects.