Deep-Sea Fish Physiology & Ecology

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Mackenzie Gerringer’s research centers on the physiology and ecology of deep-sea animals, including the planet’s deepest-living fishes. She earned her PhD in Marine Biology from the University of Hawaii in 2017 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Friday Harbor Labs, University of Washington in the Summers Lab. As a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, she studied drivers of depth zonation in the hadal zone, depths ranging 6,000–11,000 meters, and the notable success of hadal snailfishes (family Liparidae). Her research explores adaptations to life in the amazing pressures, cold temperatures, and eternal darkness of deep-sea trenches using comparative techniques in functional morphology, cellular physiology, energetics, age and growth studies, and diet analysis. She has spent over 180 days at sea exploring the ocean’s depths with free-vehicle landers, ROVs, and submersibles. Her work has been covered by Science Magazine, National Geographic, Atlas Obscura, and a David Attenborough-narrated documentary by Japan’s national broadcasting company, NHK. Mackenzie is committed to education and science outreach, including through experience teaching as a Fulbright Fellow in Bremen, Germany and serving as an onboard scientist on NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer, narrating telepresence-enabled exploration of the deep sea.