The seminar

The opening slide from my seminar
Today, I presented a seminar on one line of research I've pursued over the past four years at WHOI. The presentation summarized my efforts as an Assistant Scientist to understand shipwrecks and all of their complex dynamics. I love shipwrecks - you know this, friends. They are large, looming, dynamic, metallic, fascinating, unnatural experiments in ecology. I've dove on shipwrecks in the North Atlantic, tropical Pacific, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico, and I can personally attest that each one of them is unique and different. 

The challenge for my seminar was coalescing all of my data into a cohesive story. Shipwrecks are diverse, so I highlighted the things they have in common - they're isolated and island-like, they're colonized by invertebrates, and almost all of them have a species that I would not expect to be there. 

The sign of a good seminar is the questions it generates from the audience, and I got some great ones. My favorite question was about the toxicological implications of shipwrecks - if a wreck is leaking oil into the environment or leads to higher levels of trace metals, that could affect the community. My answer was basically "Great idea, let's collaborate!" There are so many dimensions to shipwrecks that need to be explored.