Uncharted Blue - Inaugural Dutch Caribbean trip 2018

Group picture, Klein Curacao taken on the R/V Chapman

On Thursday, August 30th 2018, we concluded another successful trip to Klein Curacao. The trip was organized by Uncharted Blue with the mission of connecting adventurers with renowned scientists to document the health of bio-diversity of the deep reef ecosystem at Klein Curacao.

Joining this expedition were: Dr. Carole Baldwin, Dr. David I. Kline, Dr. Nicole de Voogd, Kristin Methlagl & Tamara Schwent.

Using the Curasub we made a total of 5 dives on the North-West side of Klein Curacao whereby the inaugural dive was led by Dr. Carole Baldwin focusing on diversity and eco-evolution of Caribbean reef fishes through integrative genetic and morphological investigation.

Dr. David I Kline was specifically interested in the finding and mapping of deep reef corals in this area. Preliminary findings after these dives is that the deepest found were at approx. 260ft. Dr. de Voogd used the Curasub to explore this untapped resource for new therapeutic discoveries and knowledge to inform future reef policies and management practices.

Following this day, other dives were made by the other scientists where several specimens were brought up such as different sponges and a sample of sand.
Each day was concluded with an evening presentation by one of the scientists who elaborated on their mission and the specific findings during these days. 

Also joining this trip was Entrepreneur and adventurer, Luc Hardy. Being and adventure seeker he was in the position of accompanying the scientists on their exploration of the deep reef during these dives. Being interested in combining technology with underwater research he also worked with an ROV and a Drone to captured parts of this expedition.

C Baldwin

Dr. Carole Baldwin

Dr. Carole Baldwin is Curator of Fishes and Chair of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and director of the museum’s Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP), a marine research initiative that aims to explore and monitor long-term changes in poorly studied tropical deep-reef ecosystems.
Dr. Baldwin’s DROP research has resulted in the discovery of over 7 new genera and 60 new species of fishes and invertebrates and the identification of a previously unrecognized deep-reef zone below the mesophotic, which Baldwin and colleagues named the rariphotic. Dr Baldwin has been studying the deep reefs in Curacao since the beginning 2010 with Substation Curacao.

Dr David I Kline

Dr. David I. Kline

Dr. David I. Kline is an Associate Research Biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. He is a coral reef ecologist who studies the fate of coral reefs in a rapidly changing world. He studies coral reefs from the molecular to ecosystem scales using novel conservation technologies. Dr. Kline is gaining new insights into the mechanisms for corals’ response to stress to develop new strategies for protecting corals and coral reef ecosystems.

Dr N de Voogd

Dr. Nicole de Voogd

Dr. Nicole de Voogd is a marine ecologist and taxonomist who studies the important role sponges play in reef systems. She works with an interdisciplinary team to explore the relationship between sponges and their associated microbial communities, and how this interaction contributes to reef health and discovery of nature-inspired therapeutics. Dr. de Voogd obtained her PhD at the University of Amsterdam and has been working as a Senior Marine Biodiversity Researcher at Naturalis Biodiversity Center since 2004.