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    Milestones of Oceanography History

  • 1818: John Ross (U.K.): first deep-sea animals
  • 1828: J Vaughan Thompson (Ireland): first plankton collection /w net
  • 1843: Edward Forbes (U.K.): azoic hypothesis: no life below 550 m
  • 1847: Joseph Hooker (U.K.): diatoms play the role of plants on land
  • 1872 - 1876: Challenger (U.K.): first global, oceanographic expedition
  • 1887: Victor Hensen (Germany): introduced term "plankton"
  • 1889: National (Germany): first plankton expedition, Atlantic Ocean
  • 1893: Fridjof Nansen (Norway) explores Arctic Sea and ice drift while his ship Fram is enclosed in pack ice
  • 1902: Hans Lohmann (Germany): discovers nanoplankton while studying tunicate stomachs
  • 1925: Meteor I (Germany): first deep-sea cartography by echo sounding for the whole Atlantic Ocean, discovery of mid-Atlantic ridge and sea mountains in the abyssal plains
  • 1950: Galathea (Denmark): deep-sea dredging to 10,000 m depth
  • 1957: Vitiaz (USSR): biology of deep-sea trenches, gives name of Vitiaz-Deep to what is known as the Mariana trench in the western hemisphere
  • 1960: Bathyscaph Trieste (Switzerland & USA): deepest manned dive to 10,916 m in the Mariana trench

    More information at
  • 1977: Submersible Alvin (USA): discovery of deep-sea hot springs

    More information of the Alvin at
  • 1979: John McN Sieburth (URI) and John Waterbury (WHOI) discover coccoid cyanobacteria, Synechococcus sp., of less than 2 Ám diameter as abundant and ubiquitous in the open ocean
  • 1984: Azam (Scripps) and colleagues introduce the concept of the "Microbial Loop" and catalyze a new perception of marine food webs
  • 1989: Sally Chisholm (MIT) discovers bacteria-sized cyanobacteria, Prochlorococcus sp., as abundant in the open ocean