So, how DO I create my 'critters-on-black' photos? The recipe includes 3 key ingredients:
Sometimes, the best parts of a science story gets edited out during the process of crafting research to meet the 'peer-reviewed' format. My blog seems to be the perfect place for these anecdotes that don't quite fit inside the box. For example, I once published a paper on glass sponge-eating nudibranchs that had quite a fun "behind-the-science" story.
Over the past 10 years, I've been extremely lucky to have participated in more ROV cruises than anybody I know. Over 17 cruises, I've spent 119 at-sea days spent aboard 8 different research vessels. Vast majority of that time was spent using ROVs (used 5 different ones now!) dedicated to my own research that has broadly centred on mapping the diversity of benthic fish and invertebrates found in the northeast Pacific Ocean.
What do you get when you spend so much time exploring the deep-sea as a trained marine biologist, have the 'asian-tourist gene', and have a natural tendency to 'catch them all?' You accumulate a one-of-a-kind archive of images of marine critters. With my most recent cruise, I thought it would be fun to start compiling all my highlight shots into the online, georeferenced, database iNaturalist.
Here, you will find images of all sorts of weird and wonderful critters that I've come across in my past decade as a deep-sea biologist-in-training. Research scientists are always 'in-training' because the continual pursuit of knowledge means we're never done learning!
Jackson W.F. Chu
Jackson is a marine biologist, photographer, and dog-owner. This blog will try to be heavy on the photos and light on the text.