On this voyage there are scientists from the United States and Australia working alongside New Zealand scientists from NIWA and Victoria University.
The United States scientists' participation results from a plan for closer cooperation as part of a New Zealand and United States Joint Commission Meeting on science and technology, with funding from the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
John GuinotteMarine Conservation Institute, Seattle
John's role in the project and voyage is to help develop predictive habitat models for deep sea corals and other vulnerable marine ecosystem taxa in the area. John will work with NIWA to validate the predictive models using the video and benthic sampling data, help collect water samples for assessing carbonate chemistry in coral areas, and assist in the collection of living corals for NIWA laboratory experiments designed to assess the sensitivity of deep sea corals to ocean acidification.
Santiago HerreraMassachusetts Institute of Technology & Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts
Santiago Herrera has research interests that include all aspects of biological evolution in the ocean, but especially the molecular ecology of deep-sea invertebrates from hard-bottom and chemosynthetic habitats. On this voyage he will assist with the collection of images and samples from ecosystems found on the Louisville seamounts, focusing on the deep-sea corals and the animals that live in close association with them. Understanding species diversity and evolution in the deep sea helps scientists answer fundamental questions about how organisms have adapted to changes over time, and will therefore provide insights to protection strategies for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs).
Sonia RowleyUniversity of Hawai'i at Mānoa, and Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu
Sonia Rowley has a genetic and taxonomic interest in deepsea corals. Her main research focus is to determine gorgonian (sea fan) coral evolutionary relationships across depth over geological time. This is achieved through molecular, isotopic and classical taxonomic analyses. Sonia is collecting gorgonian coral tissue samples including deepsea bamboo and golden corals such as Metallogorgia spp for study back in Hawaii.
Deb OsterhageThe Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)and the University of Tasmania
CSIRO and NIWA scientists have had long-term linkages with deep-sea seamount research, and CSIRO have funded Deb Osterhage, an undergraduate student from the University of Tasmania with a keen interest in deep-sea ecology (especially fish), to participate on the voyage.
Ongoing collaboration between the institutes will help improve our understanding of the distribution of deep-sea life, and its vulnerability to impacts from fishing and environmental changes in our region. As a skilled photographer Deb is helping document scientific activities on this voyage, and carrying out specimen photography. It is her first involvement in a large scale open ocean voyage.
Deb Osterhage's participation in the voyage reflects our Australia and NZ Deepsea ("ANZDeep") Trans-Tasman partnership.