Protecting the ocean means lots of rigorous, mundane science.
I have a new paper out today: Population structure of Bathymodiolus manusensis, a deep-sea hydrothermal vent-dependent mussel from Manus Basin, Papua New Guinea.
We sampled two sites in Papua New Guinea where these deep-sea mussels aggregate and looked at their genes to determine if there was any population structure across this relatively small spatial scale (~40 km). We found one homogeneous population. We also looked at representatives from other ocean basins and determined that mussel populations within Manus Basin are younger than those in neighboring basins. This is a pattern we’ve observed in several other studies as well.
This is not, by any stretch, a ground-breaking, paradigm-shifting study. But studies like this, baseline, foundation-building studies, are absolutely essential for conservation biology.