Meet our Chefs

After much anticipation, our ‘Meet the crew’ page is starting to come together! To learn more about those that make the ship come alive, check this page frequently to look for any updates. As for now, please let me introduce you to Buddy and Dexter, our source of life and happiness on the ship, our amazing chefs! Rumor has it that if there was a ‘World’s best ship chefs award’, it would immediately and unarguably go to them two. Eating on cruises is very important: it helps people fight sea-sickness, fill their hungry bellies after hours of hard work, and it’s a great opportunity for the cruise participants to relax and chat with one another. We’re thus incredibly lucky to have such talented and enthusiastic chefs on board. Buddy and Dexter are great friends and together make a fantastic team, producing the most delicious delicacies.. Read on to find out more!

- Violetta Paba

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24 Responses to Meet our Chefs

  1. Cameron rockwood says:

    To Jonathon Cohen, what is the technique you use to find electrical signals?

  2. Mrs. Zaino says:

    Sorry for our late start blogging we have had computer difficulties.

    What our some of the most challenging aspect of day to day life on the vessel?

  3. Nick champani says:

    How do the plankton effect the climate of the ocean

  4. Laurel says:

    Katherine Allen
    So far what do you think past oceans looked like?

  5. Adam says:

    Do the animals work like lights for the animal and are the animal still alive when you look at them.

    Jonathan Cohen

  6. Brandon says:

    What kind of organic compounds are there and how do you study them

  7. Nick says:

    Question to Katherine Allen how can plankton shells teach us about climate change?

    • Steven Tuorto says:

      The shells of plankton have been accumulating on the sea floor for thousands of years, in some places even millions of years. When we pull up a marine sediment core (a long tube of mud that extends from the sea floor down into deeper layers of sediment), that core contains material that provides clues to what the past ocean was like. One way to learn about past climate is to identify the shells of plankton that are present at each depth. The sediment layers are stacked on top of each other like pages in a book, with information on each page that is part of a continuous climate history. Identification of species in the sediment record can tell you a lot about past conditions: you only see palm trees in warm places, and in a similar way, some types of plankton are present only in tropical waters. Others live only in cold waters. By taking note of which types of plankton are abundant in a core, you can get an idea of how climate may have changed in the past. For example, in sediment that is 20 thousand years old, you’ll likely find more cold-loving species, because at that time, Earth was in the deep grip of an ice age. In addition to species identification, we can analyze the chemical composition of plankton shells to learn about the chemistry of the water in which they grew. This is a rapidly-advancing frontier: development of new tools and techniques for gleaning climate information from fossil shells on the sea floor.
      –Kat Allen

  8. Isabel says:

    To everybody- Why do most of you study small micro organisms contributions instead of larger animals?

    • Steven Tuorto says:

      Hi Isabel! There are a couple of reasons why so many of us study microorganisms rather than the larger organisms in the sea. For one thing, there are many, many more microbes in the ocean than there are fish or marine mammals or sharks. In just 1 liter (about a quart) of seawater, there may be 1 BILLION bacteria and archaea, and ten times as many viruses. Of course, bacteria and viruses are very small. But if you weighed all of the life in the ocean (what scientists refer to as the biomass), 95% of that weight would be microscopic life, and only 5% would be everything else- including really large animals like whales! Aside from being very abundant, microbes play extremely important roles in the ocean. They form the base of the food web, and many larger organisms rely on them as a food source. They also break down dead, decaying organic material and fecal material, in a process known as remineralization. This makes nutrients available so that more food can be produced. Microscopic phytoplankton in the sea are also responsible for producing half of all of the world’s oxygen- that’s every other breath you take! The chemical processes that microbes perform in the ocean effect marine life at every scale, in ways that we are still learning about. Understanding the microbes and the roles that they play helps us to understand how life in the sea works.
      On top of all of that, scientists are fairly confident that life began in the ocean as single cells. When we study microbes in the ocean, we are really studying a very ancient form of life. In fact, many microbial oceanographers also study exobiology- the search for life on other planets. When scientists look for signs of life in space, they always look for one thing: water. And we are pretty sure that if we do find life on another planet, it will likely be microscopic. So, the more we understand about the limits of microbial life in the sea, the better equipped we will be to find life outside of Earth.
      -from Lauren Seyler

  9. Tyler Smith says:

    This question is for Justin Haag, how do these fish and squid reflect the light all the way down in the depths of the ocean. Thank you!

    • Steven Tuorto says:

      As I’m finding out, there’s still plenty of light that makes its way from the sea surface down to very deep depths. Also, many predators bring their own light, in the form of bioluminescence, which is often used to search for prey. So, given that there are (at least) these two light sources present, it seems reasonable that animals would evolve to reflect or absorb light in useful ways.

  10. Ethan Harper says:

    To everyone-Has any one found what there looking for

    • Steven Tuorto says:

      …An interesting question. Much of what we do is partially processed after we get back to land, which tells us if we really achieved our goals. But all of our sampling and operations are going very well. the plankton people are getting plenty of plankton, the chemists and microbiologist are getting the water, measurements and incubations they need done, and so this has been a very successful cruise so far. Visit our photos page to see some of the operations and organisms being spotted and collected.

      Steve Tuorto

  11. Kyle says:

    This question is for Karen, how did you choose to research zooplankton feeses

    • Steven Tuorto says:

      Dear Kyle – I know! Gross, right! Well, my interest in zooplankton poops dates back a couple years to when I read a scientific paper. The paper showed a close connection between the annual growth of a clam and the local abundance of this one large copepod species. In other words, when we had a year with lots of this one copepod species, the clam also grew a lot that year; and vise versa! My advisor and I started discussing this close connection. Clams do not eat copepods directly, so that couldn’t explain the relationship. We started thinking that maybe the clams were eating copepod fecal pellets, and that these larger pellets (from this one large copepod species) were reaching the clam because they sink faster than small pellets. When copepods egest (poop), their fecal pellets are often full of undigested phytoplankton, the stuff clams usually feed on. I started reading about sinking zooplankton fecal pellets, trying to unravel this little clam-copepod mystery. It turns out that sinking zooplankton fecal pellets are sometimes an important component of biological material sinking from the upper ocean, where they are produced, to the deep ocean. When biological material, which is carbon-based, sinks deep enough, the carbon is taken out of the ocean-atmopshere system. In this way, sinking zooplankton fecal pellets can actually affect the global carbon cycle! I found this so incredible, that I became interested in studying zooplankton feces.

      I hope this answers your question!!
      ~Karen S.

  12. Kyle says:

    To everybody- What is the most challenging thing to do while living on the vessel

  13. Ethan Harper from Morse Pond School says:

    to John Cohen- Do some fishes eyes act as there lights?

  14. Riley from morsepond school :) says:

    How do you find the money to buy all the food?

    How did you pick who helps you prepare the food?

  15. Amelia from Morse pond school ;) says:

    I know most cave dwelling animals are blind because of the lack of light, why would it be different for ocean predators below 200 meters?

    • Steven Tuorto says:

      It turns out, there’s actually plenty of light below 200 meters! This includes light that comes from the surface, light from bioluminescent organisms, and other sources. As Jon (Cohen) has found in his work, it seems that even under extremely low light conditions, animals still have a clear visual response. Other researchers have shown that some animals use visual techniques even down to 1000 meters, and probably deeper.


  16. Coleby from Morsepond school:) says:

    How many pounds of food does the boat produce each day

  17. Ariana says:

    to Justin Haag, have you discovered any animals that you didn’t know that was camouflage?

    • Steven Tuorto says:

      Not yet! However, it seems that just about any animal has some type of camouflage, even if it’s not as fancy as some others. Imagine what you might do if every time you went to the grocery store, you had to watch out for predators…or if you had to sneak up on the food before you bought it!


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