Dr. Tamara Frank is currently the head of the Visual Ecology Department in the marine
science division at HBOI. Her research focuses on how light controls the daytime distributions
and vertical migrations of mid-water animals. Her work combines in situ studies from the
Johnson-Sea-Link submersible to quantify animal distribution patterns, with shipboard-based
laboratory studies on the photosensitivity of animals brought up with mid-water trawl nets.
She is particularly interested in animal-eye adaptations to dim light environments. She has
participated in over 70 research cruises, both as chief scientist and lucky hitchhiker. She
received a BA from California State University, Long Beach; an MA and PhD from University of
California, Santa Barbara; and postdoctoral fellowships from the University of Connecticut
Medical School, the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Oregon, and HBOI.
Dr. Jon Cohen is a Postdoctoral Fellow at HBOI, working in the Department of Visual Ecology.
He received his Bachelor's degree from Dickinson College, and his Ph.D. from Duke University. Jon
is a comparative physiologist whose major research focus is to better understand the sensory world
of marine animals, particularly copepods - a group of tiny arthropod crustaceans thought to be the most abundant animals on the planet. He is particularly interested in copepod visual systems because several copepod groups have evolved unusual eye designs, all of which are quite different from one another. At Harbor Branch, he is using electrophysiological techniques to study these odd little copepod eyes. On the cruise, Jon will be exploring the photosensitivity of midwater bioluminescent copepods.
Elizabeth Whitehill, graduate student, HBOI Dept. of Visual Ecology, will start her Master's Thesis research, examining structural differences between the eyes of shallow living juveniles and deep-living adults
Katie Olds, undergraduate, summer intern, HBOI Dept. of Visual Ecology, will be collecting material for her summer intern project.
Carole Berthiaume - undergrad volunteer, FAU, 2005 Semester By The Sea Student
Kimberly Fuchs - undergrad volunteer FAU, 2004 Semester By The Sea Student
Noelle Notarnicola - undergrad volunteer, FAU, 2004 Semester By the Sea Student
Steve Shotola received a B.A. in Biology and a M.S. in Plant Ecology from Southern Illinois University. The love of the ocean, sailing and scuba diving brought him to Florida in 1984. He has been a secondary school teacher for 22 years, spending 21 of those years in St. Lucie County, Florida. He currently teaches marine biology and advanced placement biology at St. Lucie West Centennial High School in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Passionate about finding novel ways of teaching science and communicating the discoveries of science to our next generation of scientists, he is the Science Fair Coordinator and Academic Ocean Bowl Sponsor for Centennial High School. This is his first research expedition, and his students will be keeping track of his exploits while on the high seas via E-mail and the HBOI @SEA website.
Dr. Elizabeth Balser, University of Illinois, Wesleyan, will be collecting and culturing invertebrate larvae, looking for the first example of cloning of echinoderm (sea stars) larvae in these waters
Dr. William Jaeckle, University of Illinois, Wesleyan, will be collecting and culturing invertebrate larvae, as well as looking for pelagic nemerteans (ribbon worms) to study novel mechanisms of nutrient transport in their bodies
Amy Slott, undergraduate volunteer, University of Illinois, Wesleyan
Dr. Brad Seibel is an assistant professor of biology at the University of Rhode Island. His primary research interest concerns the physiology of squids and octopuses living in extreme environments such as the deep-sea. Of particular interest are species that migrate each day into a layer of low oxygen at about 700 meters depth, returning each night to shallower water to feed. The jumbo squid, Dosidicus gigas is an extreme example. It reaches nearly 2 meters in length and 50 kg. Its active lifestyle in shallow-water cannot be maintained at its deeper daytime habitat due to oxygen limitation. Exactly how these amazing animals survive at depth is one question being addressed on this cruise.
Dr. Megan Porter, Brigham Young University, will compare the expression of opsins in the visual pigments of juvenile and adult stages of several species of deep-sea crustaceans
Prof. Hans-Jochem Wagner is head of the Institute of Anatomy at the University of
Tuebingen. He has received the distinguished HEISENBERG Fellowship of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for
his work on functional morphology and synaptic plasticity in teleosts retinae. Last year, he was awarded the
RANK Prize for Optoelectronics (jointly with Prof. R. Kroger) for work on accommodation in fishes. He is
also chairman of the "Graduate School of Neural and Behavioural Sciences and Max Planck Research School"
where members of the Faculty for Biology, Medicine and the Max Planck Institutes collaborate in the education
of excellent international students. He has extensive experience managing, and participating in, numerous
international cruises on bioluminescence and sensory systems in deep-sea animals, with special emphasis on
fish. He has contributed to educating the general public in matters of deep-sea biology through numerous
interactions with national and international journalists working for television programs and the written press
Dr. Ron Douglas, Dept. Zoology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, will be studying pupil movements of midwater octopus and squid
Dr. Julian Partridge, Dept. Zoology, University of Bristol, United Kingdom, will be studying pupil movements of midwater octopus and squid
John Ruthven - TV producer/director of wildlife films including "Blue Planet" (BBC) and
"Shark Week"(Discovery). I have a PhD in Zoology which has given me an insight into
how to translate the world of research into popular TV programmes, and I am very
interested in science communication. I would like to see science as part of everyday
life and for science documentaries to be widespread and not just in the specialist video
section in bookstores etc. It is a tall order to get such documentaries funded in the
currently very competitive TV industry that is struggling for people’s attention. One
way that greatly helps to "sell" an idea to commissioning editors is to have a well
thought out programme treatment backed up by pilot or test footage to show what exciting
images can be obtained and the range of things that can be filmed. On the R/V New Horizon
I am working with the help of Julian Partridge and Ron Douglas to film the amazing
creatures that have been brought up in the trawls. From what we learn we then hope
to raise further interest and eventually fund a three part series on the deep sea
for a major TV distributor.
At present we are working on the best quality lowest cost format we can afford: the
new HDV 1080i system with a Sony Z1E camera. We have used a custom-made macro tube
that allows us to attach Nikon lenses to the camera, with some good results. Hopefully
you will be able to see some of our footage elsewhere on this site.