Live from the Deep Ocean


Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 2:00pm


Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street

Image of camera recording ship at sunset

Join us for a live glimpse of the biological diversity in previously unexplored areas in the deep sea off California. The museum will host a live Q&A with Peter R. Girguis, Harvard Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Jennifer Berglund, Exhibit Developer for the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture and film producer, who are working with an international team aboard the E/V Nautilus.

The research team is exploring parts of the deep sea that are nearly devoid of oxygen, trying to understand the diversity of animal and microbial life in those areas. They will be using unmanned, remotely operated underwater vehicles for collecting imagery and samples from the deep sea. They will also be testing several components of the ABISS (Autonomous Biogeochemical Instrument for In Situ Studies), the very first deep sea “wireless broadband” observatory, developed by Girguis and his team.

The live Q&A will take place on Tuesday, August 1, at 2:00 pm, in the Geological Lecture Hall at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, 24 Oxford Street. Attendees will see ocean footage all the way down to the sea floor at 3800 feet (1100 meters), transmitted live and in high definition from the deep-diving robotic submarine. Audience members will have an opportunity to ask questions of Peter Girguis and Jennifer Berglund in a conversation moderated by Erin Callahan, a science communications student at Boston University.

The event is free and open to the public. Plan to visit the museum before or afterward to explore the new exhibition, Marine Life in the Putnam Family Gallery–admission is $12 for adults; $10 for non-Harvard students with ID; $8 for youth (3-18); and free for Harvard ID holders and one guest.

About the research vessel: The team is onboard the E/V Nautilus, owned by the not-for-profit Ocean Exploration Trust. The ship operates two remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs or robot subs) that can dive and work underwater. ROV Hercules is the “yellow” submarine that works on the ocean bottom, and ROV Argus observes the ROV Hercules from above. They dive to multiple depths, ranging from 200 to 3,800 meters. For more on the expedition, see or a short video here: