Scientists explore life in the deep waters off the California coast

The Redbud Audubon Society is excited to be hosting Dr. James Barry, marine ecologist and Senior Scientist from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) at Redbud’s Thursday, Oct. 19 Zoom program meeting.

The program starts at 7 p.m. Advanced registration is required, click on the ZOOM Registration Link.

Dr. James Barry leads a scientific team at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) that uses advanced technology developed by the institute to study biology and ecology of animals on the deep seafloor. They range from towering corals that grow on seamount slopes to tiny crabs that hitchhike on the bellies of sea pigs.

MBARI is a nonprofit oceanographic research center located in Moss Landing, California. Founded by the late Silicon Valley innovator and philanthropist David Packard in 1987, the Institute’s mission is to advance marine science and technology to understand a changing ocean.  MBARI researchers have made astonishing discoveries in the deep waters off the California coast. Dr. Barry leads MBARI’s Benthic “Biology and Ecology Team, which seeks to better understand life on the deep seafloor and how climate change will affect this community.

Dr. Barry and his collaborators recently shed new light on the Octopus Garden, the largest known aggregation of octopus in the world. Thousands of deep-sea pearl octopus migrate to an inactive underwater volcano off Central California to nest at hydrothermal springs two miles beneath the ocean surface. The warm water dramatically shortens the long incubation period that would normally occur at these cold ocean depths.

Dr. Barry’s Zoom talk will include fascinating videos of deep-sea animals.

Dr. Barry earned a BA in Zoology and MA in Biology at San Jose State University and a PhD in Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In addition to his research, Dr. Barry collaborated with MBARI’s education and conservation partner, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, to develop the Into the Deep exhibition that brings visitors face-to-face with deep-sea animals and offers a deeper dive into the institute’s work.

MBARI also collaborates with NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which has a direct tie to MBARI’s recent work at the Octopus Garden.