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.
Why are the water levels of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans different at the Panama Canal if they are all part of the same body of water? Is there a distance beyond which water doesn't seek equilibrium in its pressure/level? What would happen in the short and long term if the Panama Canal's locks were removed and the two oceans were allowed to meet?