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Report Dietmar Keyser


Report of my visit to Dr. Viacheslav Melnik, from FSC "Yuzhmorgeologiya" in Gelendzhik, Russia from 12.01.2008 – 03.02.2008.


My main field of interest are small calcified Crustaceans called Ostracods. During a workshop in Vladivostok I got to know Dr. Viacheslav Melnik from the Russian Federal Scientific Center Yuzhmorgeologiya. He took part in many cruises in the Pacific and Indian Ocean collecting manganese nodules in about 5000 m depth. He himself collected from the nodules and the adjacent sediment all animals and stored them in Gelendzhik, Russia. I expressed my wish to work on his material and he invited me to Gelendzhik.

With the greatly acknowledged help of CeDAMar I could visit him from 12 January 2008 to 3.February 2008.  I was very pleased with the working conditions in his Institute and the friendly persons I met everywhere. The town Gelendzhik is very nice although I was there in winter.


I was able to analyse around three hundred samples and collected 496 specimens. The samples were all stored on vials with 80% alcohol and were all labelled concerning the cruise, the date and the depth of the sediment. Some were split into the different groups, some contained several animal groups.

I could assign the ostracods into 35 genera. How many new species I found is not known at this time. Very interesting was that although the samples came from the Clarion-Clipperton- Zone of about 4900m depth and another deep sea locality in the Indian Ocean (5100m) the biodiversity was not so different. Only the occurrence of Xestoleberis in the Indian Ocean was somehow mysterious. The amount of ostracods per sample was about one to two animals per vial and depth range in the sediment. The animals were nearly all with limbs and in good condition, only some of the less calcified specimens were decalcified. I could dissect already several (ca.100) ostracods at the lab and this provides a good basis for further studies.


I am very grateful to CeDAMar, that I could investigate this very interesting material. But I also would like to express my thanks to Dr. Viacheslav Melnik, and his colleagues from FSC "Yuzhmorgeologiya" in Gelendzhik for a wonderful stay.


Hamburg, 19th February, 2008                                                   Dietmar Keyser

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