I realise we haven’t met yet with Alex! Alex is the Chief Scientist of the expedition. He is Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Oxford and works in the zoology department. He is the founder of the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (see links) and he is involved in many deep-sea conservation projects in close cooperation with different U.N. bodies.
He has participated in many cruises in the past. This is his third one as a chief scientist.
There is a lot of pressure in organising all of the scientific work of the research cruise. He has to make quick decisions on what instrument has to be deployed, taking into account the weather forecasts and the sometimes competing interests of different scientists. He has to make sure that the scientific work is done efficiently and properly and that we make the most of our allocated ship time.
He is also the link between the science party and the crew on board and confers with the master several times per day.
We cannot talk about Alex without citing Michelle and Philipp. Michelle is a post doctoral fellow and Philipp is doing his PhD thesis at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Alex. They have been working together for several years and I think that the three of them form a great team! Organising such a cruise requires an amazing amount of work and I am not lying by saying that Alex could not have done that without Michelle and Philipp.
Oh... and by the way, Alex is very good at keeping a whole bunch of people busy 24/7 during 45 days! and rumour has it he never sleeps ..................