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RV Investigator offers Australian researchers and their international collaborators a platform for multi-disciplinary marine research.
 Find out how to apply for sea time to get your research on board, browse key policies or prepare yourself for joining a voyage.
[Image appears of Martina Doblin walking towards the camera through a warehouse and then smiling at the camera and text appears: Martina Doblin, Biological Oceanographer]

Martina Doblin: My name’s Martina Doblin. I’m a Biological Oceanographer.

[Image changes to show Martina standing on the deck of a ship and then the image changes to show Martina talking to the camera]

When I was younger I remember feeling a little ill at ease at the beach, being a bit self-conscious but I was most comfortable exploring rock pools and being curious and as I gazed out into the ocean I thought “Wow, I could potentially explore this place” and now that’s what I do in my job.

[Image changes to show the RV Investigator on the ocean]

I’m the third of four children and three of us have gone into the sciences.

[Image changes to show Martina and her sister smiling at the camera and then the image changes to show two people putting on gloves and then the image changes to show Martina working in a lab]

My identical twin and I, we had a choice between medical science and environmental science and we both chose environmental science. So, she’s a camp biologist and I’m a marine biologist.

[Music plays and image changes to show Martina talking to the camera]

My research involves looking at tiny microscopic organisms called microbes.

[Image changes to show Martina working with equipment and then the image changes to show microbes under microscope slides]

They form 90% of biomass of life in the oceans.

[Images move through of microbes in a petri dish, and microbes under microscope slides]

They were the first organisms on the planet and they’ll be the last.

[Image changes to show Martina talking to the camera]

If there were no microbes on the planet, there would be no people.

[Music plays and images move through of a male on the deck of a ship, a view from the ship’s window, a gull soaring over the ocean, and Martina rugged up in a scarf, hat and thick parka]

When I was studying in Hobart I had the opportunity to volunteer and go on a voyage to Antarctica.

[Images move through of Martina talking to the camera, an icy landscape, Martina and a male rugged up and working in the snow, and Martina working with a hand held drilling rig in the snow]

I was really moved by seeing this pristine part of the planet, experiencing ice and snow and cold and yeah it changed me.

[Image changes to show Martina talking to the camera]

I came back and the world looked slightly different then. And for me, I had resolved that I had chosen the right career path.

[Image changes to show a view of the RV Investigator on the ocean and then the image changes to show Martina and a male working at a computer and then the camera zooms in on the screen]

I’ve worked on the Investigator a few times now, one as the Chief Scientist, and for me it sort of took oceanography to a whole new level.

[Images move through of a male in the bridge, students looking through microscopes, people sorting specimens into containers, and then a close-up of the specimens in the containers]

The ship has so much equipment and sophisticated technology on board that it’s really brought us to this whole new age of oceanography.

[Image changes to show Martina talking to the camera and then images move through of Martina getting food, ice-cream in a bowl, and Martina sitting with colleagues and talking and laughing]

Our big motivator on board is the meal breaks, partly because the food is so good but also it’s an opportunity to catch up with people and to be social and I would say that ice cream and coffee are the two essential food groups that we consume.

[Image changes to show Martina talking to the camera and then images move through of Martina and her colleagues setting up the rosette sampler]

One of the central themes of my research has been to find out while the ocean warms what the impact will be on microbes.

[Images move through of the rosette sampler being deployed from the ship and plunging beneath the surface of the ocean]

Each morning we get up before dawn, we load our rosette samplers, we lower it into the ocean and we collect sea water containing millions of microbes per millimetre.

[Images move through of the rosette sampler underwater, a male looking at a computer screen, and the rosette sampler being hauled back on to the deck again]

When that water comes back on deck there’s a great sense of excitement, what’s in it, what’s it going to reveal to us.

[Image changes to show liquid being taken up from a beaker into a pipette and then the camera zooms out to show a female moving the pipette of liquid into another glass container]

So, when we’re on board we’ll collect as much data and as many samples as we possibly can.

[Image changes to show the liquid moving through a series of glass pipes and then the image shows Martina looking at the glass pipes]

There’s so much more to discover.

[Image changes to show the colleagues standing around looking at samples inside a fridge and the image shows the fridge door being shut and the colleagues all cheering]

Each voyage represents a new opportunity to do that. Science is complete.

[Images move through of Martina and her colleagues sitting around a table in conversation]

Voyages take years in the planning. They’re very significant when they start rolling and we’re underway, millions of dollars, hours of time invested.

[Image changes to show Martina talking to the camera]

And so it’s a big deal when we’re out at sea and the Chief Scientist helps bring it home, helps make sure that the scientists leave the ship getting the data that they need to solve those big questions.

[Music plays and text appears: Marine National Facility]

[Credits appear: Produced by Ella Kennedy, Camera and Editing by Lara Van Raay, Additional Photos, Ian Jameson, Doug Thost and Peter Ralph, With thanks to, Martina Doblina, The MNF Ship Operations Group, The Crew of the RV Investigator, Oceans & Atmosphere - Engineering and Technology Group]

[CSIRO logo and text appears: CSIRO, Australia’s innovation catalyst]

Hear from a Chief Scientist: Studying the first organisms on the planet

Martina Doblin is a biological oceanographer. She looks at microscopic organisms called microbes - the first organisms on the planet. Martina has been on RV Investigator several times, including as the ship’s Chief Scientist. For Martina, “The Chief Scientist helps to make sure the scientists leave the ship with the data that they need to solve the big questions.”