Studying Deep Sea Sea Cucumbers on E/V Nautilus

Scientist and PhD student Liz Miller teaches us all about sea cucumbers in this video and explains their research studying the influence of microbes on animal food webs. As part of our NA141 expedition, ROV Hercules collected deep-sea sea cucumbers and sea urchins that Liz dissected for gut content analysis in the wet lab. They will later be using DNA sequencing to identify the bacterial communities living in different parts of their guts, as well as stable isotope biomarkers to trace the origins of their food and its degree of microbial breakdown. Watch Liz in action as they dissect these unique marine creatures and explain why studying them is so important.

Learn more about this expedition funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration via the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute.