Andrew Thaler

Andrew Thaler

Blackbeard Biologic: Science and Environmental Advisors



Published on Apr 22, 2024

Long delay between updates but a ton of progress

By the end of the year, we had completed the first round of pilot studies and I am in the process of writing up the first set of observations as a short communication. In the meantime, we also iden...

Group 6 Copy 11
Published on Oct 02, 2023

First results from the Mid-Cayman Spreading Center

As always, these are preliminary results. There's a lot more work left to do. Our first analysis from shrimp and gastropods at the deepest known vent system reveals that not only is microplastic ac...

Group 6 Copy 60
Published on Sep 11, 2023

First major assay

All summer we've been working on nailing down the right protocol and performing a cursory scan of our samples to identify the first sample cluster to really dive into. After finding a single shrimp...

Group 6 Copy 21
Published on Aug 02, 2023

The next set of samples is cooking.

Now that I have the extraction process dialed in, it's time to start looking more broadly at the deep-sea samples. For this next pass, I'm looking at shrimp, squat lobsters, and barnacles from a hy...

Group 6 Copy 31
Published on Jul 31, 2023

First report of microplastics in the bodies of deep-sea hydrothermal vent organisms.

Over the last week I have been refining my extraction and staining technique. The first results are in.This is the filtered remains of five limpets from the deep sea that were digested in KOH, filt...

Group 6 Copy 239
Published on Jul 18, 2023

Prepping the first samples.

They don't look like much, but our first ten samples are on the slow march towards microplastic analysis. These limpets are Olgasolaris tollmannii, a deep-sea species that lives on the shells of la...

Group 6 Copy 39
Published on Jun 21, 2023

Update and Summer Plan

We're about to start cruising here! Last month I got a surprise grant awarded for a different project that needed to be fulfilled by June 15, so apologies for the silence here but we got that done ...

Group 6 Copy 20
Published on May 03, 2023

We are funded!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this campaign! I look forward to keeping you updated as the project develops over the next six months. And for those wondering, Blackbeard Biologic (my comp...

Group 6 Copy 61
Published on Apr 11, 2023

Microplastic Extraction

So how are we actually getting microplastic out of the tissue of deep-sea animals?The short answer is that we're going to dissolve whole organisms in a strong base and then filter out the remaining...

Group 6 Copy 49