LDEO Research Blogs

  • Biological Oceanographer, Sonya Dyhrman’s team is embarking on a research cruise off Hawaii as part of the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE) on the R/V Kilo Moana June 25-July 15. Gwenn Hennon, and Matthew Harke will be at sea for nearly three weeks with logistical support from Sheean Haley back on shore. The cruise will be in the North Pacific, near the Hawaiian Islands where ocean currents create swirling features with diameters five times the length of Manhattan, called mesoscale eddies. The aim is to identify how mesoscale eddies shape the microbial ecosystem of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Microbes perform the most important functions in the ocean from phytoplankton that fix carbon to bacteria that recycle scarce resources necessary for all life. Eddies alter these dynamics by bringing nutrient rich deep water up or pushing it down away from the sunlit surface. The Dyhrman team will be focused on experiments to understand how the upwelling of deep water, competition, and cooperation between microbes controls the growth of phytoplankton.

  • Lamont’s polar scientists are back in Antarctica on a mission to map the continent’s ice shelves, with a particular focus on the huge Ross Ice Shelf and the seafloor beneath it. Ice shelves like Ross reach out over the ocean from the massive ice sheet covering the continent, and researchers are exploring how changes in climate will affect them. Flying over the ice and using remote sensing equipment, they will continue work done in previous years to help gauge the stability of Antarctica’s ice sheets.

  • Bridgit Boulahanis, a graduate student at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, joined a team of 18 scientists from across the United States on an expedition to the eastern Pacific Ocean. Their mission: to investigate a chain of submarine volcanoes, or seamounts, along the East Pacific Rise. The OASIS (Off Axis Seamounts Investigation at Siqueros) team will be mapping the sea floor in detail never before seen for this region and generating an entirely new data set of bathymetry, magnetics and gravity measurements. During the day, scientists will go deep in a research submarine to explore the volcanoes up close and collect samples. At night, they will use an autonomous underwater vehicle to make highly detailed maps and take chemical measurements. Follow Bridgit’s explorations here and on Twitter and Instagram at midoceanbridg.

  • Bridgit Boulahanis, a marine geophysics graduate student at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, joins a team of early career scientists on their way to becoming chief scientists in a training cruise focused on seafloor exploration. They’ll be getting their first experiences working with submersibles as they dive into projects ranging from cephalopod collection to acoustic detection of methane bubbles to mapping and photographing methane vent sites and deep-sea coral communities.

  • Ecologist Natalie Boelman is headed back to the far north to study birds—this time to the town of Slave Lake, in northern Alberta, Canada, to track the migration of American robins. She will have some schoolchildren in New York remotely helping her as she and her colleagues get to work.