Expedition Features

From April 6-19, 2022, a team of researchers will use emerging technologies to explore deepwater habitats off the coast of Puerto Rico that are poorly explored, yet likely host a wide variety of marine life, including commercially important species and species new to science. View Expedition Overview

Active Fishing Grounds in Deepwater Habitats Off Puerto Rico

April 19, 2022

Essential fish habitats include areas that are important for reproduction, growth, feeding, and shelter for fish species. During this expedition, scientists visited habitats that are known to harbor commercially and ecologically important deepwater fishes and found evidence of past fishing activity.

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Shepherding the Next Generation of Ocean Explorers: Undergraduate

April 16, 2022

Madeline Evanson met Erik Cordes as an undergraduate student at Temple University and began working in his lab. Having now graduated, she shares her perspective on the journey and how she is gaining valuable experience while sailing on her first at-sea research expedition with her mentor.

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New Methodology for eDNA Collection to Study Deep-sea Ecosystems of Puerto Rico

April 15, 2022

Read about how scientists on the Illuminating Biodiversity in Deep Waters of Puerto Rico 2022 expedition are using a new method to collect the DNA that is constantly released by deep-sea animals into the environment. By taking water samples, they can capture this environmental DNA (or eDNA) to read the genetic fingerprint of an ecosystem and learn more about the animals that call the deep ocean home.

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Shepherding the Next Generation of Ocean Explorers: Postdoctoral

April 12, 2022

When Allen Collins and Cristiana Castello Branco (Cris) first started corresponding in May of 2016, neither guessed their paths would lead them here. Cris’s doctoral advisor (Eduardo Hajdu) and Allen have been collaborators for many years, so when Cris won a fellowship that allowed her to do six months of her doctoral work outside of her country, Brazil, Allen’s work with sponges at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) seemed like the perfect fit.

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Sponge Hunting in Deep Waters of Puerto Rico, Why?

April 11, 2022

Despite their importance in the deep-ocean ecosystem in providing habitat and food for a diversity of other marine life, scientists know very little about deep-sea sponges. Work done on sponges collected during the Illuminating Biodiversity in Deep Waters of Puerto Rico expedition will help fill some of the gaps in our understanding of these important animals.

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