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Research Spotlight: Ecological Patterns in Anchialine Caves    

Can you imagine being in a dark, narrow cave, thousands of feet from the entrance? Or being in a the cavern that is completely flooded?  Well, this is what Fernando Calderón-Gutiérrez, a Ph.D. student here at Texas A&M University at Galveston loves doing.  He scuba-dives into anchialine caves (coastal caves flooded with seawater) in his native Mexico to study the creatures living inside, which tell stories of the formation and connectivity of these places.

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Down the Tube    

Leading cave-diver MARTYN FARR gains exclusive access to one of the world’s most impressive cave-systems – the Atlantida Tunnel in Lanzarote.

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Texas A&M-Led Team Of Cave Divers Discover New Remipede Species In Caribbean    

Texas A&M University at Galveston professor Tom Iliffe and his graduate student recently participated in a 10-day research trip to the Caribbean and perhaps hit the marine lottery: they likely discovered at least one new species of ocean life.

“We collected what we believe is a new remipede species, likely related to those found in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico,” Iliffe said. “Other new species of cave and marine life will likely be found once further examination is complete.”

Iliffe has explored more than 1,500 underwater caves, more than anyone else in the world. During his 40-year career, he has discovered more than 350 species of marine life. He noted that there is a sense of urgency surrounding his research.

“Time is critical and running out for this research,” Iliffe said. “Many of these caves are in danger of pollution or destruction. One cave in which we found a rich assortment of marine animals on our last trip here, is now polluted and lifeless. If we don’t obtain this information now, it may be lost to us forever.”

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