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MOCNESS Monsters!

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By Lisa Rose-Mann

Hi! I’m having a great time on my first research cruise. Having worked with samples from previous cruises I have longed to be able to join the DEEPEND crew. I really wanted to see the MOCNESS in action!  This is a net system that opens and closes at different depths (for this cruise, 0-1500 m down).  The diversity of life we are finding is amazing and I’m completely blown away by the cool deep sea creatures and their adaptations I’ve been able to see firsthand.

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From left to right:  Loosejaw, hatchetfish, viperfish, black dragonfish (photo: L. Rose-Mann)

My current research is performing chemical analysis on the tissues of squid and their predators for signs of contaminants from things like oil spills, pesticides, plastics and other persistent organic pollutants. As part of this crew I am collecting samples to bring back to the lab for that purpose.

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Lisa processing a sample onboard (Photo:  H. Judkins)

I’ve eaten really well on board, seen a lot of cool birds, taken my shot a Mahi Mahi (haven’t caught my own yet, but there’s still time) and learned a ton about these animals so far. Additionally, having this kind of time with some really amazing scientists and been very rewarding.  I’m beyond thrilled to have had this opportunity and hope to find a way join the crew again in the future.

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Dr. Heather Judkins is an associate professor in the Integrative Biology Department at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She received a Bachelors degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, Masters degree in Science Education from Nova Southeastern University and her PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on understanding the evolution, ecology, and biogeography of cephalopods with a main focus currently in the Wider Caribbean. Her role in this project includes the identification of deep-sea cephalopods, examining genetic diversity, and analysis of cephalopod ecology and distribution in the water column.

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Guest Monday, 15 August 2022