Into the Deep: An Immersive Oceans Course main content.

Into the Deep: An Immersive Oceans Course

Five Tuesdays, January 15 - February 12, 2019

Giant squid

Join deep-sea evolutionary biologist Mercer Brugler as he takes us on a deep dive into the science behind the Unseen Oceans exhibition during this five-part immersive course. Featured guest scientists and experts will deliver a close look into some of the oceans’ most awe-inspiring characteristics—from bioluminescent organisms and giant squid to the unexplored depths of the oceans' most mysterious regions. This course takes place inside the Unseen Oceans exhibition.

Meet the Instructor

Mercer Brugler

Dr. Mercer R. Brugler, a deep-sea evolutionary biologist, is an Associate Professor at NYC College of Technology (CUNY), which ranks #1 in ethnic diversity among northern regional colleges. In collaboration with Dr. Estefania Rodriguez (Associate Curator of Marine Invertebrates), Dr. Brugler runs a molecular lab at the American Museum of Natural History where underrepresented minority students at the high school and undergraduate level learn how to extract, amplify, sequence and analyze the genetic blueprint of deep-sea black corals in an effort to discover new species. Black corals have been found living at 8,600 meters depth (=28,215 feet) and the longest-living species has been aged at over 4,265 years old. Students in Dr. Brugler's lab regularly participate in research cruises aboard the NOAA research vessel Manta to the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (NW Gulf of Mexico).

Dr. Brugler is also an adjunct at NYU's School of Professional Studies (Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies) and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History (Washington DC). Dr. Brugler earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology at the University of Miami, Florida (1997-2001), a Master of Science in Marine Biology at the College of Charleston’s Grice Marine Laboratory (South Carolina, 2001-2004), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (2004-2011). Dr. Brugler was also a Gerstner Scholar and Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History's Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics (2011-2014).

Into the Deep: An Immersive Oceans Course is made possible by OceanX, an initiative of the Dalio Foundation, as part of its generous support of the special exhibition Unseen Oceans and its related educational activities and public programs.