Dr. Jianwen Qiu, Associate Professor of the Department of Biology, embarked on the Chinese manned submersible “Jiaolong” as the first Hong Kong scientist to participate in the “Jiaolong” deep sea expedition. Able to reach depths of up to 7000 metres below sea level, “Jiaolong” is the submersible that currently has the greatest depth range in the world, which was launched as part of a 103-day deep sea expedition in the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean on Monday, 10th June 2013. A total of 14 scientists were carried by “Jiaolong’s” support ship to undertake scientific research on undersea life and geological structures.
“It is a valuable opportunity for me and a breakthrough to help expand my research from coastal waters to deep sea. It also makes it possible for me to collect first-hand samples as teaching material to share with my students”, said Dr. Qiu on the first day at “Jiaolong”. Before the expedition, Dr. Qiu had undergone 2 weeks of training at “Jiaolong” in order to pass the various assessments to become a qualified crew member of “Jiaolong”. He will be staying in the “Jiaolong” laboratory for 40 days to study biological samples.
Dr. Jianwen Qiu graduated from the Shandong College of Oceanology and received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from the First Institute of Oceanography and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, respectively. His research interests include biodiversity, ecology, ecotoxicology and conservation. He is currently engaged in a number of research projects supported by the Environmental Conversation Fund.