A worm called Judi – deepwater lifeform named for UWI biology professor

The Lamellibrachia Judigobini aka the
The Lamellibrachia Judigobini aka the "Judiworm," named after benthic marine biologist Professor Judith Gobin -

A new species of tubeworm discovered in Caribbean waters has been named after benthic biologist and UWI professor Judith Gobin.

The scientific name for the tube worm is Lamelliabrachia Judigobini, and it was discovered during several deep-sea exploratory missions between 2012 and 2014.

The Judiworm is known to live in the deep-sea cold seeps and hydrothermal vents between TT and Barbados, to the Gulf of Mexico. Its habitat is at depths from 964-3,304 metres, where fluids rich in hydrogen sulphide and methane leak from the seafloor to give life forms energy to survive under the harsh conditions, where there is no light, high water pressure and an average temperature of four degrees C.

The Judiworm, like most species that live in such conditions in the region, survives using a process called chemosynthesis, in the absence of light. The process is similar to photosynthesis in plants.

The tubeworms do not have a gut or a mouth but host bacteria in their bodies for food.

The Judiworm is also a keystone species which provides a forest-like habitat for other species living at the seeps. It can grow up to a metre long.

Professor Judith Gobin. - Photo by Sureash Cholai

In a release, Gobin expressed gratitude to the authors of the study for the honour of having the new species named after her.

“This must surely be a crowning point of my extensive marine career,” she said.


"A worm called Judi – deepwater lifeform named for UWI biology professor"

More in this section