This C-DEBI Research Exchange was awarded for travel to the ECORD Summer School Course: Subduction Zone Processes hosted by MARUM in Bremen, Germany. This course offered many unique opportunities including networking with international scientists of various disciplines, learning shipboard operations, and improving grant writing abilities. This two-week course surveyed various types of subduction zone environments and included a wide variety of topics including geology, petrology, geochemistry, sedimentology, and microbiology. We participated in small group exercises that surveyed physical properties, core logging, rock geochemistry, downhole logging, core descriptions, thin sections, and temperature and heat flow. Each of these activities were mimicking onboard operations which allowed us to understand how sediment cores were processed on expeditions. This experience allowed me to make numerous contacts with future colleagues and collaborators while also receiving training for future expeditions. This course was relevant to C-DEBI Research Themes 2 (Activities, Communities, and Ecosystems) and 3 (Metabolism, Survival, and Adaptation) because we connected life with surrounding abiotic conditions including geochemistry, geology, petrology, and sedimentology.
My participation in this cruise allowed me to expand greatly on the scope of a time series looking at how inactive hydrothermal vent microbe-mineral alteration happens over time. Due to the discovery of new extinct sites during the cruise, I was able to double our expected samples. Due to collaborations that developed while out at sea, I was also able to retrieve rare samples from dying vent sites. In addition, thanks again to collaborations that developed at sea, I was able to get information on the macro-ecology at these sites, thereby expanding the scope of our results. Our results are in prep for publication later in the year, and will include descriptions across the entire scale of the inactive vent system, from redox chemistry to macro-fauna. In addition to objectives directly related to the science, I was able to support less-experienced scientists through their first cruise fieldwork. This work relates directly to the aims of the CDEBI research exchange as I was able to expand my collaborations and support new deep-carbon researchers. In addition, it enabled me to explore an ecosystem – that of extinct hydrothermal vents – that are currently very poorly understood.