Scientist Profile: Henry Joseph Horacek

[from Deep-Sea Life Issue 14]

Henry Joseph Horacek

PhD Student

 Florida State University, USA

I am a second year PhD student at Florida State University, Biological Sciences Department, under supervision of Dr. Jeroen Ingels (@Meiolab, FSU Coastal and Marine Lab) and for my dissertation I am investigating meiofaunal assemblages (density, higher taxa community composition) and meiofaunal nematode assemblages (density, abundance, diversity, community composition) as well as genetic connectivity between disparate populations of meiofaunal nematodes.  In February, I was able to go on the EPIC cruise aboard the RV Mirai to take samples from the Atacama Trench and different seamounts in the Southeast Pacific Ocean.  I also plan to take sediment samples from Apalachee Bay, Florida.  Initial results indicate that the densities of meiofauna at these seamounts are much lower than is normally expected for deep-sea sediments.  In 2018 I received an M.S. in Biology from Winthrop University (South Carolina, USA), and my dissertation focused on whether cryptic speciation had occurred for two different morphospecies of meiofaunal flatworms in North Carolina and Florida.  I found evidence that one morphospecies (Onslow Bay, North Carolina) did not undergo cryptic speciation, and that another morphospecies comprised in fact two different cryptic species: one in Onslow Bay (North Carolina) and one in Northwest Florida.

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