Objective: Increase international collaboration in hydrothermal biological studies and work on integrating ridge-crest biological and geological research. Note: This Working Group was a continuation of the "Mid Ocean Ridge Ecosystems" Working Group. The Biology Working Group group disbanded in 2007. Some members went on to form the Vent Ecology Working Group in 2008.
Chairs - Chuck Fisher (Pennsylvania State Univ), Nicole Dubilier (Max Planck Inst for Marine Microbiology)
Group Members - Maria Baker (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton); Monika Bright (University of Vienna); Craig Cary (University of Delaware); Andrey V. Gebruk (Russian Academy of Sciences); S. Hourdez (Station Biologique de Roscoff); Timothy M. Shank (WHOI); Ken Takai (JAMSTEC); Anna Metaxas (Dalhousie University); Jung-Ho Hyun (KORDI) & Ana Colaço (IMAR-University of the Azores)
Biology Working Group Update
Six working group members participated in a two-day meeting : Dr Gebruk from Russia, F. Zal from France, Anna Metaxas from Canada and Dr Jung Ho Hyun from Korea and the 2 co-chairs, F Gaill from France and K Juniper from Canada. Paul Tyler from UK was unable to attend because of flight cancellations, while Manuel Biscoito of Portugal and Olav Giere of Germany sent apologies. There was no news from Tim Shank of the USA and Ken Takai of Japan. Colin Devey, the new chair of InterRidge from the University of Bremen participated in discussions during the second day of the meeting.
Report from the InterRidge Workshop: Management and Conservation of Hydrothermal Vent Ecosystems
Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney (Victoria), B.C., Canada
28 – 30 September, 2000
The discovery of chemosynthetic-based ecosystems at hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean was one of the most important findings in biological science in the latter half of the 20th century. More than 100 vent fields have been documented along the 50,000 km global mid-ocean ridge system. At this time, over 500 new animal species, over 80% of which are endemic to the vents, have been described from this environment1. Unusual, highly-evolved symbioses between invertebrates and chemolithautotrophic bacteria are common at vents, producing concentrations of biomass that rival the most productive ecosystems on Earth. The predominance of chemoautrophic and hyperthermophilic microbes in hydrothermal vent waters has stimulated new theories of the origin of life on Earth. It has also prompted astrobiologists to seriously consider geothermal energy as a viable power source for biosynthesis and maintenance of carbon-based life forms on other worlds.