I recently returned from speaking at Sitka WhaleFest in Alaska, a unique science festival that celebrates the local knowledge and marine science of the Northern oceans and has been running for 19 years. Having never been to Alaska, I had an inkling that this was going to be a great work trip but boy, were my expectations surpassed! (more…)

Disclaimer: this blog post is embarrassingly overdue!

In early September 2015, I attended the 14th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium (DSBS) and Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) Planning Meeting in Aveiro, Portugal, and wow, what an incredibly enjoyable and valuable week it was! This was my first time attending either event having been at sea in 2012 when the DSBS took place in New Zealand. It was also my first conference since I attended the World Conference of Marine Biodiversity in 2011, so needless to say, I felt a bit rusty. (more…)

What animals colonise wood and whale bones on two seamounts in the Southwest Indian Ridge? Are the communities more similar between substrate types or seamounts? Are any of the animals new to science? Are the communities made up of organic-fall specialists or background opportunists? These are some of the questions that colleagues and I wanted to answer when we deployed these wood and bone packages for two years off South Africa. Findings are reported in the paper below. (more…)