oceanography, marine biology, paleobiology, hyrdrothermal vents
Tunnicliffe studies creatures that live on the edge of Canada's Pacific Ocean hot vents--underwater volcanoes. These fascinating deep-sea ecosystems may resemble the Earth's first living systems. Tunnicliffe is testing ecological theories about patterns of species distribution. She also compares hot vent biodiversity with that in nearby deep-sea metal-rich areas that are potentially mineable.