Dr. Craig McClain

Craig is the Chief Editor for Deep Sea News

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Craig McClain, aka Dr. M, is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate broadly synthetic research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 30 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary drivers of marine invertebrate biodiversity and body size. He focuses primarily on deep-sea systems often looking at the consequences of food limitation on biological systems. He is the founder and editor of Deep-Sea News. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

When I was much, much younger, I joined Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso Club (named affectionately after his beloved ship). The rights and privileges of this elite club were endless. Entry was limited to any child with a few bucks to their name and a few cereal box tops. My membership packet came in with all kinds of information, patches, stickers, and certificates. Everything a young ocean explorer would need on their quest to unravel the secrets of the ocean floor. Well, except for a research vessel, support crew, scuba, and of course a film crew. In that packet was perhaps the most important thing I ever received in the mail, a Calypso Club membership card. That treasured wallet-sized laminated card stated I was an ocean explorer. At 12, I had come into my own as young mover and shaker ready to navigate the depths. But alas being caught up with the busy life of elementary school, a lack of scuba equipment and training, not living on the coast, no access to a research vessel to travel the oceans, and quite frankly knowing next to nil about the ocean, I explored through the pages of Cousteau’s monthly newsletter. I remember to this day how that card made me feel. The information and stories I ingested from Cousteau’s updates in the mailbox. I have always wanted DSN to do that for our readers, that sense of awe, passion, novelty, and most of all participation in exploration. On the rollercoaster that is being a professional academic, DSN is my daily reminder of why I do this. I enjoy the part of the day I set down at my computers and share with the readers the wonderment that is the environment that I have dedicated my life to. The readers reaffirm how blessed we are to be in this field–Craig McClain