UWI in Society

Say hello to Lamellibrachia judigobini

SAY HELLO TO LAMELLIBRACHIA JUDIGOBINI, a deep sea tubeworm found in cold seeps and hydrothermal vents at enormous depths (from 964 to 3304 metres). If the name sounds familiar, it’s because it was dedicated to UWI St Augustine’s own Professor Judith Gobin.

The new tubeworm, which can be found in the deep waters of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and the Gulf of Mexico (and possibly also at the Kick ‘em Jenny submarine volcano off the island of Grenada) was named by an international group of scientists led by Dr Magdalena Georgieva of the Natural History Museum in the UK. They chose to name it after Prof Gobin for her many important contributions to marine science.

Scientists believe Lamellibrachia judigobini is one of many unknown species inhabiting the depths off the coasts of Trinidad and Tobago. Because the sea floor is lightless, extremely cold (or in cases of hydrothermal vents incredibly hot), and has more than 100 times the atmospheric pressure of the surface, the species that thrive there have an usual ecosystem of which tubeworms are a crucial component.

So how does Prof Gobin feel about this rare honour?

“This must surely be a crowning point of my extensive marine career, and I am truly honoured,” she says. “I sincerely thank the authors.”