New species of deep-sea worm named after UWI professor

Judith Gobin

A new species of deep-sea worm that can live in environments on the ocean floor that are either extremely hot or very cold has been named after marine ecologist Judith Gobin, a professor at the University of the West Indies.

The Judiworm as it is now called, lives near hydrothermal vents and cold seeps across the Gulf of Mexico and around Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago at depths up to more than 10,800 feet (3,300 meters).

The vents can reach temperatures of more than 700 degrees Fahrenheit (370 degrees Celsius), while cold seeps are only slightly warmer than the surrounding water in the deep sea, which is nearly freezing.

The name is meant to honor Gobin for her discoveries and efforts to protect marine life in the region, according to Magdalena Georgieva of the Natural History Museum in London.

The new species whose official name is Lamellibrachia judigobini, was collected during exploratory missions from 2012 to 2014, the University of the West Indies said.