Fisher Deep-Sea Lab

The Fisher Lab uses a variety of approaches in order to study the biology of animals harboring chemoautotrophic symbionts and the ecology of these symbiont-containing species and their associated faunal communities. Our main research sites are the cold hydrocarbon seeps of the Gulf of Mexico and hydrothermal vent sites on the East Pacific Rise, the Juan de Fuca Ridge, and in the Lau back-arc Basin. The types of symbioses and communities that we study were only discovered four decades ago, and there is still much that we do not understand. Our research continues to center on the physiological ecology of the major symbiont-containing fauna; however, we are constantly realizing the need to address additional questions in order to understand the animals we study. As a result, we have become a very interdisciplinary group, using methods ranging from molecular analyses, to community manipulations, to theoretical simulations, to geographic information systems (GIS)