The backdrop of legends and movies, the deep sea has always been unfathomable because we had no idea what existed there. Once thought to be barren of life, we now know this couldn’t be further from the truth. With every deep-sea expedition we gain a greater understanding of our planet and its intertwined systems. Since 2009, the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) has been working towards better understanding these vast and mysterious systems, facilitating marine research with its vessel Falkor. In less than a decade, SOI and its collaborators have made a multitude of discoveries including new species, geologic features, and mapped over 1.1 million km2 of seafloor in high resolution. The data collected has contributed to a better understanding of remote and deep-sea biodiversity, offering insight into how these systems influence nearby aquatic regions and help inform resource managers. These insights were made with the help of new technologies on the 4,500 m capable underwater robot, ROV SuBastian. Some of SOI’s most exciting discoveries took place this past year in Australia’s waters as SOI partnered with Australian scientists, and conducted five expeditions. Exploration of these waters led to more than 40 potential new species discoveries and several new geologic features.
Dr. Carlie Wiener is the Director of Communications and Engagement Strategy for Schmidt Ocean Institute. In this leadership role, she has drawn international attention to the science completed through the institute’s ship-based program, expanded global partnerships, and implemented a communications strategy for the organization. Dr. Wiener has more than fifteen years of experience in marine science communications working on strategy, research, community outreach, evaluation, and professional leadership. She received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in communications and her Master’s and Doctorate degree in environmental studies from York University in Toronto, Canada. Her previous research has focused on integrating natural and social science for marine management, environmental education, experiential learning, and marine mammal tourism. Carlie also hosted the monthly marine science podcast, All Things Marine for six years, and has taught several courses on communicating ocean sciences and marine science for the public.