15th DEEP-SEA BIOLOGY SYMPOSIUM TRAVEL AWARDS
REPORT TO THE DEEP-SEA BIOLOGY SOCIETY & FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE
by Beatriz Mejia-Mercado
Florida State University, USA
The 15th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium 2018, supported by the Deep-Sea Biology Society and co-hosted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, was the first opportunity to present my work on deep-sea environments here in the United States. I am from Colombia where I received my bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University. At that time I was working on many different subjects, but when I wanted to specialize in one subject I started looking for something that people were not looking for; the deep sea. In order to do that, I received a scholarship from the Mexican government to obtain a master’s degree in Marine Ecology at The Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education at Ensenada, Baja California. Later, and after my third application, I was accepted to do an internship at MBARI. In 2016, I was awarded the Colciencias-Fulbright scholarship to continue my graduate studies, which is why I joined Florida State University to work on my Ph.D. in Oceanography and continue learning about deep-sea environments.
I really want to thank the Deep-Sea Biology Society for giving me the opportunity to be at the symposium. Without the travel award I received from the society, I would not have had the pleasure of meeting incredible people who seek to know more about the deep-sea and how to protect it. It was very exciting to receive a lot of interesting and important information from the talks and the poster sessions that can only be received at these types of events.
I was very happy to participate and engage with so many people from different countries fighting to protect our oceans at the Deep-Sea Biology Symposium and the Society Annual General Meeting.
Currently, as part of my Ph.D. and with the support of Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor and other scientists, I am conducting research in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands with the purpose of understanding the community structure of deep-sea fishes from 200 to 700 meters deep and determining the influence of environmental factors on these communities. Thanks to my participation at this Symposium, I was able to show my work and receive some valuable comments from experts that have helped me to improve my study and develop new ideas.
I also had the wonderful opportunity to meet future colleagues from different cities in the USA and from other countries. With them I enjoyed entertaining talks and had a great time.
Finally, I was able to enjoy the amazing city of Monterey again. Its wonderful landscapes and the variety of organisms make this city a unique place to have the best experiences with nature.