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Dr. Patricia Fryer

Dr. Patricia Fryer

University of Hawaii

Patricia Fryer got her degrees in Geology and Geophysics from the College of William and Mary and from the University of Hawaii. She loves going to sea, 44 research cruises. Her many dives in the submersibles Alvin and Shinkai 6500 and expeditions with remotely operated vehicles (ROV), including the Woods Hole Nereus hybrid ROV, have been primarily in the Mariana Trench and island arc areas. She has served as chair of the Deep Submergence Science Committee, which provides science guidance for the Deep Submergence Operations Group at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research deals with volcanic and tectonic processes of plate margins. It is currently focused on huge mud volcanoes near the Mariana Trench that are erupting cold, green, serpentine (asbestos) mud and producing ghostly carbonate chimney structures at springs that host unique biological communities from microbes to mussels.

Dr. Sam Hulme

Dr. Sam Hulme

Moss Landing Marine Labs

Dr. Hulme works at Moss Landing Marine Labs studying the dynamics of water chemistry in the ocean crust to try to better understand the movement of the earth’s plates and how the environment there matures over time. He has been to sea on 10 different research vessels, one of them mapping the Mariana Trench with Woods Hole’s Nereus hybrid remotely operated vehicle in May/June 2009. His research has helped provide Virgin Oceanic the most detailed maps of the Mariana available today. He received his PhD from the University of Hawaii but still does not know how to surf.

Dr. Geoff Wheat

Dr. Geoff Wheat

University of Alaska Fairbanks/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

Geoff studied mathematics at the University of New Hampshire and worked in a chemical oceanography lab. The work experience led to a desire to go to graduate school and maintain close ties to the ocean. After obtaining a PhD. from the University of Washington he worked at the University of Hawaii before joining the faculty at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (adjunct at MBARI). He works closely with Patricia Fryer and Sam Hulme working on of course, chemical oceanography! Geoff uses chemistry to studying the movement of water and other minerals through the ocean crust. He says, “As a kid, I always liked sailing, swimming, diving and fishing. The more time I spend near and on the ocean, the more I wanted to continue being near and on the ocean.”

Dr. Katrina Edwards

Dr. Katrina Edwards

University of Southern California

Edwards’ research interests focus on deep ocean and subseafloor geobiology, specifically on the interactions between microbes and rocks and minerals at the ocean floor and how these processes influence global biogeochemical processes. She teaches courses in environmental microbiology, geobiology and astrobiology, geochemistry, and biological oceanography at the University of Southern California. From 1999 until 2006 she was a research scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where she initiated and now leads an international deep biosphere Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) project in the mid Atlantic “North Pond” (Expedition 336 Sept. – Nov. 2011; post drilling seafloor activities 2012-2022). She and her research group have been on dozens of sea-going oceanographic expeditions that use remotely operated vehicles and manned submersibles such as Jason II and Alvin at locations such as the East Pacific Rise, 9°N, the Loihi Seamount, Lau Basin, and the Juan de Fuca Ridge Axis and Flank. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Geomicrobiology in 1999.

Dr. Edith Widder

Dr. Edith Widder

Ocean Research & Conservation Association

Edith Widder is a deep-sea explorer and MacArthur Fellow who combines expertise in oceanographic research and technological innovation with a commitment to reversing the worldwide trend of marine ecosystem degradation. A specialist in bioluminescence (the light chemically produced by many ocean organisms), she has been a leader in helping to design and invent new submersible instrumentation, and equipment to quantify bioluminescence and enable unobtrusive deep-sea observations. She is the CEO, Senior Scientist and Co-founder of the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, an organization dedicated to the study and protection of marine ecosystems and the species they sustain through development of innovative technologies and science-based conservation action.

Dr. Doug Bartlett

Dr. Doug Bartlett

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Professor Douglas Bartlett received his Ph.D. in prokaryotic molecular biology from the University of Illinois, was a Research Scientist at the Agouron Institute and later assumed a faculty position at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, where he now holds the rank of Professor and Chair of the Department of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Prof. Bartlett has extensive experience in the molecular and physiological analyses of microbial life in extreme environments. His research group has pioneered genetic studies of microbes that live at great depth and were the first to identify genes regulated by pressure and genes which are required for high pressure survival. Current research projects include the ecology of deep-trench microbial life, hadal metagenomics and single-cell genomics, and the isolation and characterization of novel high pressure-adapted microbial life forms.