Cape Cod's Nature Place

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History


Deep Sea Life


Oases in the Deep – The Fascinating World of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents

Thursday, August 20th 1  pm   Free w/Museum Admission   


The deep-sea is the largest contiguous biome on Earth and is home to a large number and high diversity of organisms, yet is still only poorly explored. The majority of the organisms in the deep-sea are dependent on food that is produced through photosynthesis in the sunlit surface ocean, and thus is directly dependent on solar energy. This leads to a shortage of food in the deep-ocean, as only a small percentage of the material produced in the surface ocean sinks to the abyss. 

Stefan Sievert is an Associate Scientist in the Department of Biology at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He is a microbiologist who studies the composition, diversity, and function of microbial communities, and their role in the ocean biogeochemical cycles, with a particular focus on deep-sea hydrothermal vents. He has been on a number of research cruises to deep-sea hydrothermal vents, including several cruises on R/V Atlantis as chief scientist.