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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.

Learn about his amazing experiences in this blog post he wrote and this video about his activities on the vessel, produced by the Schmidt Ocean Institute.

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.