Projects Overview

In situ Observatories
Life on the Rocks
Mud & Methane

Microbial Diversity


Life on the Rocks


Rocks collected from the seafloor.  Images on the left and center show basalts coated in iron oxides, likely formed by microbes that eat iron and excrete iron oxides (rust) as a waste product.  These rocks were collected from the Loihi Seamount located off of the coast of Hawaii (images courtesy Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the 2007 and 2009 FeMO cruises). Image on the right shows a ‘black smoker’ hydrothermal vent and hydrothermal sulfide chimney on the Juan de Fuca Ridge (image courtesy Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and AT15-34 cruise).

Mud and Methane

Left image: Collecting mud from the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico using the research submersible Johnson SeaLink (image courtesy Ian MacDonald). Center image: piece of methane gas hydrate collected from the Gulf of Mexico (image courtesy Gerhard Bohrmann and SO174 cruise). Right image: DNA-stained microbes from Gulf of Mexico sediments, visualized with epifluorescence microscopy (copyright Beth Orcutt).

In Situ Observatories


NEW IN 2014: I have recently been nominated as a Distinguished Lecturer for the U.S. Science Support Program for the international ocean drilling program. You can apply here to invite me to give a lecture at your school, museum, or other educational activity in Fall 2014/Spring 2015.

Left image: a CORK observatory at the seafloor on the Juan de Fuca Ridge flank (image courtesy Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute).  Center image: Microbial flow through colonization experiments for deployment inside a CORK.  The chambers are filled with different types of rocks including basalts and pyrite. Image copyright Beth Orcutt. Right image: deployment of microbial colonization experiments inside the CORK well-head (Image courtesy Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and cruise AT15-35).

Left image: giving a lecture about deep subsurface microbiology and observatory research to a group of educators sailing on IODP Expedition 327 (Image courtesy Bill Crawford/TAMU).  Central image: explaining microscopy and microbiology research techniques to a group of educators (image courtesy Jackie Kane).  Right image: Media used during the Adopt A Microbe project, featuring the toy microbe narrator.

And here is a link to one of the videos made for the project: