I am Rodrigo do Monte Guerra, one of the paleontologist on Expedition 369. I live in a small (but wonderful) Brazilian town called Carlos Barbosa, in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil. I currently work as a researcher on ittFossil (Technological Institute of Micropaleontology), around 70 km from home.
My research here on JOIDES Resolution involves some tiny microorganisms known as Calcareous Nannofossils. Usually this microfossil group is composed by all calcareous fossils smaller than 30 µm, like the remains of haptophyte algae, calcispheres and ascidian spicules (very small creatures that live in the ocean). The lifetimes of these guys is usually very short, so we can use it to estimate the depositional time of the rocks recovered on the expedition. These data are extremely important, as most of the other finds do not really have importance if we can’t say what time they happened.
Time on shift here is busy looking at the microscope trying to find the species used to tell time. Everything gets better while drinking some “chimarrão” though; a typical drink (like a tea) from south Brazil that we usually drink with friends or family – it makes me feel closer to home.
This is my second expedition onboard the Joides Resolution, so it is not something new for me to live for two months inside a vessel. There are several choices of entertainment during the free time here… I usually go to the gym or go running on the helideck in the morning and I like to go on the top deck after midnight to see the stars.
Keep following the next postcards,
Photo – Vivien Cumming