Life at Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents is the topic of DMC seminar

On Friday, July 28, Dr. Jeremy Rich will give a talk titled “Exploring Life at Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents.”

The seminar will take place in Brooke Hall at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center beginning at 10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested at

Deep-sea hydrothermal vents have fascinated scientists and the public since their discovery in 1977. An oasis of life at the seafloor, life at deep-sea hydrothermal vents is based on chemosynthetic activity of microbes, as opposed to photosynthesis at Earth’s sunlit surface.

Fundamental properties of life at hydrothermal vents are still not understood. This lack of knowledge is a problem for placing hydrothermal vents into the broader context of how the global ocean functions.

Submersible Alvin sampling the hot fluids of a deep-sea hydrothermal vent on the bottom of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Image courtesy of Stefan Sievert, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

In April 2017, Rich and an international team of collaborators set out on an expedition to the Equatorial Pacific. The team dove to the seafloor on the submersible Alvin to obtain new insights into the functioning vent ecosystems. To measure rates of processes at the seafloor, they deployed a novel instrument known as the Vent-Submersible Incubation Device (Vent-SID).

This talk will describe life at hydrothermal vents and Rich’s expeditions to deploy the Vent-SID.

Rich is a faculty member at the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences based at the DMC. His research addresses the role of microbes in the flow of elements and nutrients in ecosystems, with a particular focus on the nitrogen cycle.

This talk is part of DMC’s summer science seminar series, where renowned scientists in the field of marine biology engage the public in topics ranging from the studies of the Gulf of Maine to the exploration of the deep sea. The full list of speakers is posted at For a disability accommodation, please call 207.563.3146.

Contact: Aliya Uteuova,