Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Benthic Ecology Research Cruise

Meet members of our research team...

Master's students Nicole Morgan and Ben LaBelle
process a sediment core.
Ben LaBelle is a Masters student in the lab of Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor. His current research focuses on the community structure and genetics of deep sea Octocorals. On this cruise he assisted in the processing of sediment cores for macrofaunal community comparisons.  

Nicole Morgan is a Master’s student with Florida State University, working with Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor on the community and genetic structure and diversity of deep-sea structure-forming organisms, like corals and sponges. On this cruise she assisted with multicoring operations, with specific protocols for quantitative macrofaunal sampling. 

Anastasia Nienow, Arvind Shantharam, and Kim Pollard
sampling sediment-dwelling invertebrate communities.
Arvind Shantharam is a PhD student from Florida State University, working in the Baco-Taylor lab sampling sediment-dwelling invertebrate communities of the De Soto Canyon and evaluating their response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. ‘….We sample the mud and section them into set depth fractions and later in the lab we pick organisms out of the mud for identification and enumeration. What critters we find and how many them we find help us gauge the recovery of the sediment ecosystem…’ said Arvind. Kim Pollard is a senior majoring in Environmental Science & Policy, minoring in Biology at FSU. He assisted in multicore processing in addition to various activities on the vessel. He is currently endeavoring in an honors thesis involving stable isotopes. 

Anastasia Nienow handles water samples from the CTD.
Anastasia Nienow is a student assistant at Valdosta State University with a B.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from Georgia Tech. Her main focus on this cruise was to collect water samples from the CTD to look at diatoms, nannofossils, and pigments in the water column. 
Nicole Clark assisted with the multicore and piston core.

Nichole Clark is a research technician at the Sedimentology Geochronology Laboratory at Eckerd College. She recently graduated with a B.S in Marine Science and participated in this cruise assisting with the operations involving the multicore and piston core.

Dr. Peter Lazarevich and Eric Howarth work with the computer control center of the MILET system. Eric Howarth is the senior engineer of the Marine Field Group within the Oceanography Department at FSU. His is charged with the overall operation and performance of the MILET. Peter is responsible for the collection of underwater navigation and sub-bottom profile data for the MILET. 

Dr. Peter Lazarevich (foreground) and Eric Howarth
work with the computer control center of the MILET system
John Kaba collects surface sediments in an effort
to understand what response deep Gulf sediments
had to the 2010 oil spill.
John Kaba is a graduate research assistant at Florida State University working for Markus Huettel. He has been focused on the degradation of the Deepwater Horizon oil in different environments. On this cruise, he collected surface sediments from every site. Back in the lab, he will incubate them in seawater with different amendments of nutrients, oil, and Corexit, and measure oxygen consumption and dissolved inorganic carbon production as a proxy for microbial activity. “I am trying to understand what response the deep gulf sediments had to any hydrocarbons that were deposited 

Posted by:
Oscar Garcia-Pineda
Florida State University

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