Chris German

Deputy PI/Science Lead

Expertise: Submarine Exploration; Seafloor Fluid Flow
Affiliation: WHOI

SUBSEA Research Objectives

Implementation of telepresence-enabled investigations of seafloor fluid flow in analog settings relevant to the future exploration for extant life beyond Earth.


Born and raised in UK. US Citizn since 2013.

Education: BA in Natural Sciences (Joint Honors, Advanced Chemistry and Geology) and PhD in Marine Geochemistry at Cambridge before moving to MIT as a NATO Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1988-1990.

Career: 15 years in the UK as a Govt research scientist before returning to WHOI in 2005 as a Senior Scientist, serving half-time as Chief Scientist for Deep Submergence through 2014 (up to and including completion of major Alvin HOV upgrade). A veteran of 60 ocean expeditions, totalling ~3 years at sea, including 17 as Chief Scientist. Involved in discoveries of new submarine venting in every ocean basin including the Southern Ocean and the Arctic and new styles of venting including ultramafic hosted vents linkable to prebiotic chemistry ± the origins of life. Has also helped pioneer the use of telepresence for shore-based participants with a particular emphasis on deep ocean research (vs outreach, exploration) as well as the use of autonomous robotic systems to complement “humans-in-the-loop”. Awards include: Scientist for the New Century (Royal Institution, UK) in 2000; Edward A Flinn Award (International Lithosphere Panel, 2000); Fellow (Challenger Society for Marine Science, 2000); MBE Medal (HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2002); Research Prize (Alexander Von Humboldt foundation, 2014); Fellow (The Explorers Club, 2015). Community Service includes: Chemosynthetc Ecosystems Study Group Co-Chair (Census of Marine Life, 2003-10); President (Challenger Society for Marine Science, 2004-05); Co-Chair (InterRidge, 2007-09); Advisory Board Member (NOAA Ocean Exploration & Research, 2014-Present); Advisory Committee Member (NASA Planetary Sciences Division, 2018-Present).