January 21, 2010

Burke Researcher Catalogues Deep Sea Fish

One of our own Burke Museum researchers has been offered a prestigious award in order to contribute to a major scientific collaboration: building the “Encyclopedia of Life.”

Burke doctoral candidate Chris Kenaley, who works with Curator of Fishes, Ted Pietsch, has been offered two awards from the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). Specifically, Chris will be working on cataloging the diversity of fish in the largest and least-studied biome on Earth, the deep sea. The work Chris and his colleagues contribute to the EOL’s goal to document all 1.8 million species known to science will answer important, unanswered questions, such as how many times fishes have invaded the deep sea.

Chris received funding to lead an international team of scientists in May at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University in order to work on documenting all of the known fishes that live 200-meters-deep and below. He has also been awarded an EOL Rubenstein Fellowship, where he will be contributing to the international effort to create a webpage for each known organism on Earth.

Much of the work Chris will be conducting has never been done before, and there is no doubt that the contributions Chris makes to the EOL project will be used for generations to come. Congratulations!

Posted By: Andrea Barber

Photo: Chris Kenaley