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Ashleigh Smythe, on board the Robert C. Seamans, with a rare, short-tailed albatross in the background.
Ashleigh Smythe, on board the Robert C. Seamans, with a rare, short-tailed albatross in the background.

Smythe Joins SEA Semester Cruise

Contact Holly Foster 315-859-4068
Posted August 19, 2009
Tags Biology Faculty
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Ashleigh Smythe spent five days in July on board the Robert C. Seamans, the Sea Education Association’s 134-foot research sailing schooner. The ship sailed out of San Francisco Bay, north to Drakes Bay, around the Farallon Islands, and finally docked in Monterey, Calif.

The trip was a “colleague cruise,” a way for faculty to get a taste of what students experience during a SEA Semester cruise. Faculty were part of the ship’s crew and were on rotating watches to man the ship, doing everything from managing sails, navigating, cleaning and even taking the helm. 

For Smythe it was also a chance to collect marine nematodes (microscopic worms) for her research on nematode evolution. The ship is able to deploy a sediment dredge to scoop sand or mud from the bottom, and nematodes can be washed and sieved from the sediment and preserved for later study.

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