Deep sea creatures

Treasures of Deep-Sea Science

Online TALK
Online/Zoom connection $5

The deep sea is enormous, and it makes up 95% of the life-zone, the biosphere, of planet earth. It is hard to visit and much of it is unexplored.  

Museum Victoria Scientists are leading modern-day voyages of exploration to  Australia’s deep waters territories.  In July, this year they travelled on CSIROs Marine National Facility Research Vessel Investigator to the Indian Ocean near Christmas Island to map the seafloor and sample marine life, including the unusual, beautiful, and ugly animals adapted to life in the dark, high-pressure ecosystem of the deep-sea.

You will hear about the powerful science done on board the specially designed research vessel and how scientists overcome seasickness and adapt to shifts in order to work effectively on board.  They will describe the significance of the voyage and the ‘treasures’ they found, leaving us with a new appreciation for this massive and mysterious ecosystem, and its important role for planet Earth.

This research was supported by a grant of sea time on RV Investigator from the CSIRO Marine National Facility.


Dr Tim O’Hara

Man on the deck of a ship
Tim O'Hara

Dr Tim O’Hara, Senior Curator, Marine Invertebrates was the Chief Scientist  on the July Investigator voyage in the Indian Ocean. He is a marine biologist who uses museum collections to answer large-scale questions about the distribution of seafloor animals around the globe. His research includes aspects of biogeography, macroecology, phylogeny, and phylo-geography. His speciality is the Ophiuroidea (brittle-stars), a class of echinoderms that are a dominant component of the seafloor fauna.

Melanie Mackenzie

Scientist looking into a microscope
Melanie Mackenzie

Melanie Mackenzie, Collection Manager, Marine Invertebrates has been involved in shipboard research from the Australian Abyss to Antarctica and has a special interest in holothuroids (sea cucumbers). As part of the Marine Invertebrates team for Investigating the IOT she’ll show us a typical day at sea, from specimen collection and processing to finding that work-life ‘balance’ on board, and also introduce us to a selection of the amazing invertebrates discovered by the team.

Host: Kate Phillips, Senior Curator, Science Exhibitions, Museums Victoria

Banner image credit: Photographer Nish Nizar



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