North Carolina State University, Dept. of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Bio: This will be my first extended trip at sea and I am looking forward to examining the plankton samples under the microscope! I have always been attracted to marine ecology and organism behavior, and the Gulf of Mexico offers a new planktonic community to explore.
What I’m doing on this cruise: We study microbes, small micro algae and ciliates, at varying depths throughout the GOM. These organisms are the base of the marine food web, similar to plants in terrestrial systems, and they are an important food source for larger organisms such as fish which, in turn, are consumed by humans.