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.
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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?