More Austrian funded dives with Alvin

Again, we received fundings from the Austrian Science Foundation to rent the U.S. research vessel Atlantis and the deep submergence vehicle Alvin for two dives. With this money, we went back to the same volcano. To maximize our collections we built nine bioboxes.





First Austrian funded dives with Alvin

For the first time in Austrian history, we were able to receive fundings from the Austrian Science Foundation to rent the U.S. research vessel Atlantis and the deep submergence vehicle Alvin for two dives. With this money, we went to the deep-sea hydrothermal vents of the East Pacific Rise in October/November 2006, to a volcano in 2500 meters depth that erupted about half a year prior our visit.



2006 -

Emerging Focus Deep Sea Hot Vents and Cold Seeps

The Emerging Focus supported by the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna aims at combining the ongoing research projects “Biodiversity and ecology of hot vent and cold seep meiobenthos” and “Biodiversity and evolution of thioautotrophic symbioses” and strengthening and extending scientific, educational, and outreach activities. This will build a focal point of directed research that promotes particularly excellent students and young scientists and attract co-operations not only within the Faculty of Life Science and the University of Vienna but also with other national and international institutions.

2004 - 2005

Since the first edition of our webpage in 2001, we grew considerably as a group as well as broadened our research. Next to studies on the thiotrophic endosymbiosis Riftia pachyptila, the thiotrophic ectosymbiosis of Zoothamnium niveum from a shallow water chemosynthetic environment and a yet undescribed new symbiosis from the deep-sea hydrothermal vents are currently studied intensively. In addition, we have started a large program on community studies of meiobenthos from hydrothermal vents. For the first time in Austrian history, we have received funding from the Austrian Science Foundation for renting a ship and submersible in order to carry out Austrian research in the deep-sea. This cruise is planned for 2006 and negotiations have been initiated. We are most grateful for this financial support and would like to thank all the people at the Austrian Science Foundation, the U.S. National Science Foundation, Woods Hole Oceanography Institution, and the U.S. Ridge 2000 program for helping to make this dream come true.

1992 - 2003

Over 100 years later Austrian scientists have returned to Deep Sea exploration. This time the unique hydrothermal vents at the spreading centers of mid-ocean ridges with their exceptional chemoautotrophic symbioses are the focus of our interest. Despite the obstacles posed in lacking the appropriate equipment for research in the deep sea, we have been fortunate to cooperate with American scientists giving us access to ships and submarines. Joining the hydrothermal vent research group in 1992, Monika Bright has been funded by the Austrian Science Foundation and invited to several cruises including dives on the submarine Alvin by J.J. Childress, H. Felbeck, C. R. Fisher, L. Mullineaux and C. Cavanaugh.

"I would like to thank them for their generosity in supporting my research. In the past years, my students A. Sorgo, A. Nussbaumer, and J. Zekely were able to see firsthand the object of their theses, Riftia pachyptila, the giant tubeworms that live on the bottom of the ocean at a depth of 2500 meters." - Monika Bright (2001).

1890 - 1898

Several Deep-Sea expeditions led scientists of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to investigate the Mediterranean and Red Seas. The Academy of Sciences provided the scientific programs and equipment, the Austrian Navy supplied the ship 'Pola' and crew, and the Museum of Natural History in Vienna delegated scientists from its staff and managed the large collections. In the years 1890 to 1894 several oceanographic cruises led to the Eastern Mediterranean - from the Ionic Sea to the Egyptian coast - including a special marine biological cruise to the Adriatic Sea. The success of these cruises led to the extension of investigations in the Red Sea: in 1895/96 the northern, and in 1897/98 the southern areas were explored. As a consequence of these cruises the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea were among the oceanographically best-studied areas of the oceans. The scientific results were published in 14 series by the Academy of Sciences and the collections kept specialists busy for decades.