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Octopus Odyssey Features BioMar Researchers


One of the octopuses seen from the boat, courtesy of Octopus Odyssey.

GDFCF Board Member Dr. Jorge Cortés Núñez, a professor emeritus at the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the Universidad de Costa Rica and an expert on corals, as well as the co-director of the GDFCF/ACG/CIMAR marine bioinventory project, BioMar, recently completed a fascinating expedition aboard the R/V Falkor (too) to collect marine samples off the coast of Costa Rica. The expedition focused on deep sea mounts, which are geological formations that result from volcanic activity on the sea floor, and which can harbor unique marine biodiversity. One mission of these expeditions is to share, real-time, with anyone, the research happening on the boat and the images seen by the scientists. According to Jorge, “These images are being projected to the entire planet. Such imagery and knowledge helped to form the creation of new Marine Protected Areas in the past. We hope this expedition will do the same in the future.”


Jorge has a starring role in this expedition, as you can see in the videos below, along with other BioMar researchers, including Dr. Odalisca Breedy, an expert in octocorals. As Odalisca says in the video, “The deep sea is so important; it’s humanity’s life support system, and we simply don’t know enough about it.” The trip, dubbed Octopus Odyssey, and the R/V Falkor (too) boat were sponsored by the Schmidt Ocean Institute, a major global marine research funder.


While the Falkor (too) is meant for truly deep-sea work, Jorge has often noted that BioMar also needs to start looking deeper, as there are many unknown species in the coastal region of ACG; it is one of the goals of BioMar moving forward. In the meantime, Jorge returned from the expedition with at least one Lysis plate of samples that will be DNA barcoded at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph, Canada.


Videos de la expedicón Fkt230602, Buque de Investigación Falkor (too)

Video semana 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQtgVQcr4IA 

Video semana 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TaiG2Y-WiU

Video semana 3: https://fb.watch/lkUpz6UB2X/

Jorge speaking to a global audience about sea mounts during the expedition. Courtesy of Octopus Odyssey.