JC010: Mud volcanoes and submarine canyons


Meet...Silvia Bianchelli, PhD student

Silvia Bianchelli (below) is a PhD student from Polytechnic University of Marche, Italy. She usually works on meiofaunal assemblages. Meiofauna are small animals (20µm-1mm) living in the sediments and they are characterised by high levels of biodiversity, especially Nematodes. Nematodes are like worms and they are the most abundant and widespread animals in the sediments. The photo below shows one species deposited in the Natural History Museum.

Silvia is studying meiofaunal biodiversity and the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in deep canyons in the Mediterranean Sea. During this cruise she is collecting samples to measure prokaryotic production (like bacterias), enzymatic activities and viral production in the sediments. 

At the same time she is helping Teresa with her work on holothurians. Teresa and Silvia will try to measure both prokaryotic production and enzymatic activities along the gut of holothurians.

Silvia at work in the lab

A marine nemotode worm, one of the
dominant groups in deep-sea muds
Image courtesy Natural History Museum

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