I am a research fellow visiting from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland to contribute to Dr. Rika Anderson’s research on the ecology and evolution of microbial communities living in hydrothermal vents. This will be my first time onboard a research cruise, so I’m excited to collect samples from deep beneath the sea and experience life onboard a research vessel! Since I graduated from my BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences in 2015, I have become a Doctor of Philosophy. My career centres around investigating the evolution of life by analysing DNA sequences of bacteria and archaea from all over the world. This often involves computational approaches (such as sequence assembly, genome mining and molecular clocks) to reconstruct the relationships between microbes with different metabolisms, so I’m looking forward to seeing some of them with my own eyes! I’m also an avid SCUBA diver, so am naturally fascinated by the idea that a vehicle can travel not just 30m but hundreds of meters beneath the sea.
Hello!! My name is Mai Abualsaud and I am