Dr. Karen Osborn wearing a hard hat and working with equipment on a ship.

Dr. Karen Osborn

Dr. Karen Osborn is the Curator of Marine Invertebrates at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and studies the evolution of life in the deep, open ocean. Many animals that live in this largest of the earth's habitats are very bizarre and dramatically different from their closest relatives.  Most animal groups have representatives living in the open ocean and learning about the differences in the way these animals live compared to how their relatives in shallow water or on the sea floor live, tells us a lot about how this environment changes and shapes the many animals that survive there.  

Karen came to the Smithsonian after working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She spends a lot of time at sea using remotely operated vehicles to explore and study the deep, open ocean.