This past winter, Karthik Anantharaman, assistant professor of bacteriology, embarked on a scientific adventure. On board the research vessel R/V Falkor, he sampled deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Sea of Cortez using robotic submarine ROV SuBastian. He is studying the viruses that live in these environments, which are rich in chemicals like sulfide, methane and iron.
With the samples collected, he and his lab are now analyzing the DNA to uncover the lifestyles of viruses and other microbes in hydrothermal waters. What they find will help scientists understand the biology of the viruses and microorganisms and predict how they will respond to future changes in their ocean environments.
Samples collected from Karthik’s trip were also used in a microbiology capstone class.