One of the great icons of the twentieth century was born April 15, 1912 with
the sinking of the RMS Titanic. At her launching, this great ship was the largest
liner ever built and carried the distinction of being the biggest, the best, and
even claimed to be "unsinkable". The sinking was made even more dramatic
by the striking of an iceberg on her maiden voyage, with over 1500 lives lost.
This single event has become burnt into societies' consciousness as an image of
arrogance and ignorance.
Myths and legends continued to surround the RMS Titanic until its discovery
in 1985. The ship lies silently on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, over 500-km
off of the coast of Newfoundland. The Titanic, torn into three parts and surrounded
by a debris field, is scattered on a portion of the continental shelf at a depth
of 3.9 kilometers, with a temperature of 1°C and pressures in excess of 6000psi.
After 88 years at the bottom of this watery grave, the RMS Titanic shows signs
of deterioration. This deterioration is found in the form of growth, coined rusticles
that appear both inside and outside of the ship's structure. In 1996 and 1998, scientific
expeditions to the site of the RMS Titanic have learned that the rusticles are
growing larger and denser, while the ship continues to deteriorate. Microscopic
evaluation revealed that the rusticles are complex bioconcretious structures involving
many different consortia, or communities of bacteria and fungi, formed through
cooperative activities. These integrated structures include water channels, porous
sponge-like regions, rib-like structures, cavernous water reservoirs and thread-like
columns that appear to bind these structures together along with resinous patches.
The bioconcretious rusticles vary in color, texture, size and form. The variation
in color from a vivid yellow through to brown and even purple is due to the highly
oxidized ferric iron content. These can be found on the outer surfaces of the
Titanic. Rusticles can also appear to have a grey or black hue. These can be
found in more reductive environments such as those found in the interior of the
ship. The rusticles are dense structures, with a high iron content ranging from
24 to 36% consisting mostly as complex ferric oxides and hydroxides. The support
structures of the rusticles appear to be dominated by matrices of heavily mineralized
growth in which goethite is dominant. An iron oxide sulfate complex, known as
green rust was also found (Fe+2 3.6
Rusticles that have been recovered from the 1996 Expedition to Titanic have been
analyzed by electron diffraction x-ray. This technique revealed that iron was
the dominant atom within the range of atoms tested. The relationship within the
bioconcretious structure is (dominant atom first): Fe > Na > S > Cl >
Mg > Si > P > Mn. There is considerable variation in the elemental
composition of the rusticles tested, however, this reflects the heterogeneous
nature of the structures themselves.
The examination of the rusticle growth on the ship itself was done in both
1996 and 1998. This examination in situ showed, visually, that the rusticles
have a concrete looking exterior however, when approached and, when touched or
disturbed through mechanical means, proved fragile and commonly shattered into
numerous pieces, spewing a red, powder-like material into the surrounding water.
This phenomenon was examined closer in a laboratory setting, using recovered rusticles.
When growth occurred in the laboratory, the rusticles were fed various selective
culture media through implanted hypodermic syringes simulating organic loading
in the oceanic environment. Growth occurred very slowly but it was noted that
there was a continuous release of material resembling the powder-like material
first observed in situ, through the ducts leading from the structural water channels.
This material, when dried, resembles red dust, having an iron content, on average,
of 20+/-5%. Additionally, there were releases of biocolloidal yellow slimes with
an average iron content of 8+/-3%. These releases totaled between 0.02 and 0.03%
of the rusticle's biomass per day. If this were to be repeated in situ, tests
indicate that it would take between nine and fourteen years for the same amount of
iron to be released from the rusticles as equivalent to the amount of iron being
held within the rusticles structure. From the 1996 surveys, it was determined
that there was approximately 650 tons (dry weight) of rusticles on the outside
of the bow section of the wreck. From this, it can be extrapolated that a daily
loss of iron, as red dust and yellow biocolloids, of between 0. 13 and 0.20 tons
per day could be occurring from the wreck. Further extrapolation reveals that
iron in the bow section, assuming 20,000 tons of iron, and that the rusticles
were removing the iron at a constant rate, could be totally exported into the
environment as red dust and biocolloids in approximately 280 to 420 years.
Key in determining how long the Titanic may remain intact is the rate at which
these biologically-driven rusticles will grow and extract iron from the steel
plating of the ship. To examine this phenomenon, four IPSCO Test Platforms were
placed down at the site of Titanic, in 1998. Each platform has three different
types of maritime steel, each represented by five coupons, which have been either
twisted, hammered, tempered or burnt, including a control sample. These platforms
are still at the wreck site and early reports indicated that the rusticles are
growing over the test coupons. When recovered, the rusticle growth and resident
amount of iron in the coupons will be used to assess the rate at which iron extraction
is occurring, the residence time in the rusticle for the iron and finally, the
amount of iron already exported to the oceanic environment In addition to the
IPSCO Test Platforms, there is a need to understand the nutritional factors influencing
the growth of rusticles. On both the 1996 and 1998 expeditions, there were periods
when the "sea snow', a mixture of biocolloids and zooplankton, was so intense
that it resembled a blizzard on the prairies. This sea snow originates, in part,
from the deep scattering layer located approximately 400-1000 meters below the
surface, and partly from the growths over the ocean floor. After such a "snow
fall", the rusticles become covered with a gentle coating of white slime
that presumably, is able to be consumed by the rusticles through the ducts that
perforate the outer structural coating.
The chemistry of this biodeterioration is clearly complex and certainly involves
the growth of microbes at the reduction-oxidation front forming within the structures,
and upon the electrical charges inherently present within the steel and modified
by the rusticle growth. In the laboratory, it has been possible to manipulate
the position, form and rate of rusticle growth by the application of electromagnetic
forces to the steel. This has now become the subject of a patent application.
Clearly the biodeterioration of the RMS Titanic is being driven by rusticles mining
the steel for its iron which becomes the major structural support element in the rusticles,
in much the same way as calcium provides the skeletal support in many vertebrates. In
1998, comparisons were made with video footage from the 1986, 1996 and 1998 expeditions
to determine the rate of biodeterioration over time. The mass of rusticles has increased
on the outside of the bow section by at least 30% between 1996 and 1998 and there are
ongoing signs of deterioration. For example, the bow section of Titanic's Upper Promenade
Deck is deteriorating from the aft, moving forward at a rate of approximately 30cms
per year. Another indication that degradation is occurring is at the aft end
of the bow section. All of the decking structures located at this point, having
folded and collapsed over the aft section during impact, have now disintegrated
away to reveal for the first time the boilers in Boiler Room #2. Cracks in the
steel hull plating are also beginning to appear, particularly around the Well
Deck, that suggests further deterioration is progressing. Inside the bow section,
copious rusticles are growing throughout. These may also be leading to the gradual
deterioration of the ship. It is only through a more intensive investigation
that the true rate of this biologically driven deterioration can be predicted.
There appears, at this time, to be evidence not of a catastrophic structural
failure about to occur in the near future, but rather of a gradual collapse that
would follow a somewhat predictable pattern. In simple form, this pattern would
include (in probable chronological order) the loss of all structures above the
hull, collapse and disintegration of internal decks and walls, exposure of all
of the heavy mechanical equipment in the bowels of the ship (e.g., boilers, turbines),
fracturing and collapse of the hull plates, exposure of the double bottom hull
and the final disappearance of the remaining resident structures. This chain
of events probably would take many hundreds of years, long after the RMS Titanic
had ceased to be a recognizable structure.
For science, the RMS Titanic now provides an opportunity to learn from the
deep oceanic degradation of steel structures. At this site, the deterioration
of structures still has many stories to tell. The debate between fact and fiction
reigns on. Claims range from the steels deteriorating to become as thin as sheets
of newspaper, having the same strength as the chocolate in a candy bar, to the
steel strength being slowly yielded to the iron-devouring rusticles. Ongoing
science at the site and the proper comparison of the myriad of images from 1986,
particularly those between 1998 and 2000, can aid in addressing the validity of
In addition to the desire by many to make the RMS Titanic a protected memorial
site, there remains a continuing need for dedicated science and archeology to
learn as well as to remember. From a microbiological standpoint, research and
development could further address the issues surrounding the rusticles as very
unusual life forms. The ongoing controversy over the RMS Titanic carries with
it the possibility of profound consequences. To learn from this tragic disaster,
still within the halls of memory, is an essential legacy of the RMS Titanic.
As one of a large number of sadly sunken ships, the RMS Titanic stands apart from
all of the others through representing the ending of one complete chapter in the
history of humankind. RMS Titanic has earned the right to become a site to be
remembered, revered and respected and from which knowledge should grow rather
than simply become yet another site to be plundered.
1 University of Regina,
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada 2 Droycon Bioconcepts Inc., Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Microbiological Scientific Activity on the RMS Titanic
1996 to 1998
RMS Titanic Inc., in conjunction with Discovery Channel, organized an expedition
in 1996 that would begin to address the science associated with the ship, from
the disaster itself, onwards as she sails into archeological history. The questions
asked of me were related to the observed deterioration of the ship's structures
and the possibility that these events were orchestrated by microbes. The following
events were undertaken in the above stated time period in an attempt to begin
to understand the nature of these events:
Experiment 1: Place two BARTTM tests on the bridge deck to determine
whether heterotrophic aerobic and iron-related bacteria were active on the ship.
The tests were brought back in 3 and 12 days respectively. Both BARTTM
tests showed that there was bacterial activity belonging to each of these two
Experiment 2: Place two unexposed but developed color slide film coupons on the
bridge deck to determine whether there were microbes present that could degrade
the gelatin proteins in the film. The one experiment, brought back after 3 days,
indicated that the microbial degradation of the protein had already started.
When the second experiment was recovered, the proteins were deeply etched, forming
a variety of patterns that appeared to be more art than science.
Experiment 3: Recover rusticles from the ship's abundant growth, hanging down
from the ship and also from the metal pieces being recovered for metallurgical
studies. These rusticles were returned to the Regina laboratories for analysis.
They were found to be a complex mixture of various microbial species living in
a variety of structures within the rusticles. Elements of their form and function
were observed and the basic nature of these growths was as living iron-rich concretions.
Experiment 4: Survey, in a scientific manner, the port and starboard sides of
the bow section concentrating on the promenade deck that appeared to be suffering
from a most severe rusticle infestation. This video imagery has become a guide
to assess the rate of deterioration of the promenade deck. On the basis of this
survey, the density and size of rusticle growths were projected on the outside
of the bow. It was projected to be 650 tons dry weight.
Experiment 5: It was evident from the previous work done in 1996 and ongoing
laboratory studies, that the steel structures on the ship are biodeteriorating
as a result of the rusticles removing iron from the steel. Four IPSCO Steel Platforms
were placed on the ship:
(1) Just forward of the right engine in the stem of ship on a rusticle flow
from the double bottomed hull;
(2) On the port boat deck just aft of the bridge by the first port lifeboat position;
(3) Just to the port side of the stem at the very front of the bow close to a
debris field of decayed rusticles;
(4) Immediately below the port side well deck on the ocean floor.
Each platform had 15 metal coupons separated into three groups (mild steel,
AH36 and EH36, modem maritime steel). Within each group of five coupons, one
was a control while the others were either hammered, twisted, burnt or tempered.
The coupons were arrayed in a manner that would encourage rusticles to grow over
the steel. After seven days, it was reported that growth was occurring, however
there has been no imagery received that would indicate the state of these platform
since the 1998 expeditions.
Experiment 6: A fundamental question is whether the environment at the site is
too extreme for surface microorganisms to survive if exposed to those conditions.
Five American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) strains of bacteria were sent down
to the site under confined conditions in which they did become exposed to, but
could not contaminate, the local conditions of pressure, temperature and salinity.
The period of exposure at the site was approximately eighteen hours. All five
species were recovered with an one order of magnitude loss in cell numbers. Surface
microbes that had sunk with the ship, or arrived at the site later, could therefore,
possibly adapt and form a part of the microbial activity.
Experiment 7: An extension of the BARTTM tests conducted in 1996, was
conducted in 1998. Miniature laboratories, called BARTTM platforms,
were placed at the same sites as three of the four IPSCO Test Platforms. All
three of the BARTTM platforms were recovered during the expedition
and all showed evidence of active bacterial growth.
Experiment 8: A series of film etch coupons were taken to the site and held there
for various times. Complex etching patterns were again observed and these, together
with the images obtained in 1996, became a part of the "Dominion of Nature"
in which photomicrographic images have been blown up on Agfatran and back-lit.
Experiment 9: Rusticles were recovered from the "Big Piece" and from
the "D Deck Door", brought up during the 1998 Expedition. Analysis
of these samples confirmed the presence of complex microbial consortia within
an iron-rich concrete-like structure.
Extensions to the Experiments: 1998 to 2000
> Educational: Cooperation with firstly, RMS Titanic Inc., and later with
Maryland Science Center, has led to the bringing of some aspects of the science
into the public forum. Specifically, in 1999, aspects of this research were introduced
into the Titanic Exhibitions in Hamburg, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland, through
RMS Titanic Inc. Also in 1999, there began an ongoing dialog with Maryland Science
Center for the incorporation of some elements of this work into "Titanic
Science, Depths of Discovery" that is due to open in November 2000. Within
a matter of weeks a local exhibition will open at the Saskatchewan Science Center
title "Titanic, the Saskatchewan Connection". The Maryland exhibition,
which will tour and is supported by the National Science Foundation, will include
many aspects of the scientific studies including some of the following:
> Walk through a rusticle (1 6' x 12' structure) through which visitors
can walk and see the different structures that have been seen in these organisms;
> Dominion of Nature: an exhibition of the etchings;
> The Biodeterioration of the Titanic: a set a drawings of the bow of the ship
as she was in 1986, 1996 and possibly 2012 and 2112;
> Culturing rusticles: an aquarium in which rusticles are actually being grown;
> Small educational take-home type kits.
Progress from 1998
1. Patent application for the use of electromagnetic forces to relocate microbial
fouling events in water, oil and gas wells.
2. Development of techniques for the rapid culture of rusticles under laboratory
3. Investigations of the relationship of bacteria to the formation of concrete-like
structures and the possible role of microbes in the "curing" of concrete.
4. Antibacterial agents within rusticles.
5. The iron cycle as it relates to the rusticles.
6. Improved diagnostic techniques for the determination of biodeterioration in
water, oil and gas wells and also improved methods for the rehabilitation of these
wells. Most of the emphasis here is on plugging water wells. This is a very
serious problem globally, with the U.S. having approximately 15 million water
wells, of which the majority are becoming biologically compromised.
7. Predictive techniques to project the rate of deterioration of these wells as
well as the RMS Titanic.
Challenges and Achievements
RMS Titanic Inc., in conjunction with Discovery Channel, organized an expedition
in 1996 that would begin to address the science associated with the ship from
the disaster itself onwards as she sails into archeological history.
Two arenas of conducting science at the site of the RMS Titanic relate to the
challenges, as well as the achievements. Historically, the science relating to
the site began early on with the realization that there was an abundance of valuable
information from a variety of disciplines, not only forensic evidence, that could
be used to determine the manner is which the ship sank, broke up and came to rest
on the ocean floor amid a large debris field. This evidence was in the field
of the marine architects and the metallurgists who concentrated on the pathway
of events that had enacted on that fateful night in 1912. Archeologists were
intrigued by the various states of decay or pristine preservation that existed
in the various artifacts observed both in the debris field and on the ship. Over
5,000 artifacts have been recovered and restored with patience and care.
The manner in which the RMS Titanic has burnt into the global social consciousness
made has made this ship more than any other, the center of attention. As a result
there were a number of expeditions to the site often with the mass communication
media heavily involved. Major events at the site include the IMAX expedition
(1991), James Cameron (1995) and the Discovery channel/NBC (1996 and 1998). These
latter two events incorporated a significant level of science, primarily to provide
interesting dimensions to the ongoing storyline that is the RMS Titanic. The
support for the science was therefore designed to educate and interest the audience.
In 1997, the documentary "Titanic, Anatomy of a Disaster" became the
highest rating episodic show on the Discovery channel, in part, because it was
a fine weave between history, the nature of the disaster and the state of the
ship today. This documentary focused on the science and even showed experiments
going down to be left on the ship for a period of time. In 1998, the science
was expanded with more experiments going down to the ship. Funding came from the
Discovery channel and was limited to preparing the experiments and ensuring that
they could be placed at the appropriate sites. There was no ongoing funding to continue
the research. For myself, I am a major shareholder of a small successful biotechnology,
Droycon Bioconcepts Inc., DBI, that manufactures the BARTTM water test
kits for nuisance bacteria as well as research and development activities. Because
of internal funding from this source, the research on the microbiology of the
RMS Titanic was able to proceed. No attempts were made to obtain external funding
except for the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (forensic committee,
SD-7) who gave $8,500 in support to the Universities of Regina and Daltech in
Halifax. Internal funding has amounted to contribution, in-kind, of US$50,000
per annum, but the products of that effort have been woven into the other research
activities that are also ongoing at DBI. This "cross pollination" of
projects at DBI is partly because of the area of applied microbial ecology that
DBI has developed an expertise in. These are briefly:
Recovering water wells from severe biological fouling (plugging). The bacterial
consortia down water wells closely resemble the rusticles at the RMS Titanic.
Through beginning to understand the nature of rusticle growth and their affinity
to particular electrical charged sites it has become possible to develop a new
(patent pending) treatment to rehabilitate plugging water wells more economically.
Ironically oil wells need to have the water entering (and blocking) the production
flow of oil from a well plugged off. Research is now ongoing literally in growing
rusticles down oil wells to aid in the plugging off the water before it enters
the oil well. This work is in the advanced stage of development approaching the
field testing stage.
The range of BARTTM test systems is growing and also becoming automated.
In 1996, a., prototype computer test system was successfully used on the Ocean
Voyager research ship and functioned through a laptop computer even through the
Atlantic storms. Since then the whole hardware has been simplified and will
be shortly marketed as the BARTSCANTM system and will be
subjected to EPA verification as an alternative testing technology for the biochemical
oxygen demand 5-day test.
Rusticles are forms of living porous concrete and, as such, offer an opportunity
to determine to potential role of microbes in the "curing" of concrete.
Parallel studies conducted jointly with Canada Agriculture (PFRA) in Regina found
that the use of inoculated bacteria in the making of Portland concrete gave a
similar strength along with a more porous structure when compared to sterile control
concrete. At this time DBI does not have the funds to pursue this project but
it remains a tantalizing challenge.
Notwithstanding that the only difference between art and science is that the
former discourages replication while the latter favors it, art also has been found
on the RMS Titanic in the form of bacterial etchings. Since 1966, a low level
of research has been proceeding on the use of bacterial proteolysis in soils,
muds and water to determine bacterial activity. This activity is recorded by
"exposing" an unexposed but developed color (black) slide film to the
environment. Bacteria beginning to mine the gelatin out of the film leaving behind
the color layers they did not want to "mine". Complex patterns and
beautiful etchings are so created right on the border of art and science.
Within the maritime industry there is a general lack of appreciation of the potential
impacts of microbial activities on the sustainability of floating and submerged
structures. These activities relate primarily to the deterioration of steels.
This issue will be addressed in part at the Vancouver meeting of SNAME where a
paper will be presented on the rusticles but will include this topic. Concerns
particularly relate to corrosion between twin hulls, in bilge tanks and at places
where water is being used for ballasting purposes. These sites could all become
subject to rusticle-type growths that could affect the integrity of the structures.
Additionally concrete structures such as those used in the Hibernia drilling platform
may also be at risk. For Hibernia the problem relates to the use of pig iron
saturated with seawater to supply ballasting. Here an environment has been inadvertently
established where there could be very significant microbial activities leading
to localized corrosion of the concrete walls.
At the educational end of science, the Maryland Science Center in part through
a grant from the National Science Foundation is preparing to open "Titanic
Science, Depths of Discovery" in November 2000. Included in the exhibition
from the science being conducted here are: (1) walk through the rusticle, (2)
growing r-usticles, (3) Dominion of Nature (etching), (4) biodeterioration of
the ship (morphing), (5) placement of experiments at the site, and (6) the IPSCO
This research activity has been undertaken without a heavy involvement by
either government and non-govermnent organizations. The funding has mostly been
restricted to internal (DBI) sources and yet there are tremendous opportunities
for scientific advancement relating to environmental and sustainability issues.
The site of the RMS Titanic presents a series of interesting opportunities to
study deep oceanic "weather patterns", which have changed over the 1996
to 1998 time period, the complex nature of the almost isolated and untouched biosphere
that has developed there, the interaction of these organisms with the steel on
the ship, the potential impacts that microorganisms can have on steel and concrete
structures in contact with seawater, and the unique nature of the rusticles as
a whole different form of life and possibly containing elements that could also
aid in the curing of concretes. The role of the application of electromagnetic
forces to these structures as a means to focus growth on and biodeterioration
in steels and concretes. There also arises that interesting question as to whether
rust is living or simply a dead physico-chemical reaction. The implications of
this are major in many industries.
The RMS Titanic has created, in my mind and the way I view the world, many
differences since the first dive in 1996. From that sad tragedy is now emerging
the challenges of learning of new life forms, extreme environments, of the vulnerability
of steel, and of Nature gradually recycling. Here, Nature is retrieving and returning
that which was the RMS Titanic, back into the myriad of living cycles that form
life. The list of possible benefits from the science blossoming on the ship could
be: more sustainable ships, stronger concretes, better steels, new uses for electromagnetic
forces, an understanding of a new group of life forms previously never recognized
nor understood, and possibly new drugs. All of these possibilities emerge from
the "ship of dreams" but how would this be done and who would do it?
D. Roy Cullimore. Sunday, September 3, 2000
I have visited the RMS Titanic site in both 1996 and 1998 in the submarine
Nautile as a part of the expeditions that were organized in those years. My role,
as a microbiologist, was to determine the nature of the growths that were developing
on the bow section of the RMS Titanic. These growths, known as rusticles, were
found to be living, not a single species of a plant or animal, but rather a complex
of microbial communities living within an iron-rich and calcium-deficient porous
concrete-like home. They were found to be extracting iron from the steel of the
ship and then exporting that iron into the oceanic environment as red dust and
yellow colloids (slimes). This was discovered in laboratory based studies using
rusticles recovered from the site. There appeared to be considerably more rusticle-type
growths in 1998 than in 1996 and an examination of the video images from those
two expeditions revealed an increase of approximately 30%. This would indicate
that the removal of iron from the ship is an ongoing and accelerating activity.
In 1998, the IPSCO Steel Test Platforms were placed on the ship at strategic locations
to determine the rates of iron loss that was now being experienced. Unfortunately
this activity was not of interest to the current administration of RMS Titanic
Inc. and no attempt was made to either provide photographic evidence of the state
of the steels coupons on the platforms or offer to retrieve one or more of these
platforms. No request was made to the company because there was no interest expressed
in continuing the science and attention was totally focused on artifact retrieval.
In contrast to this, the Maryland Science Center (MSC) with the support of the
National Science Foundation is organizing a science-based exhibition, which complements
the artifact-based exhibitions being organized by the company. In support of
the MSC attempts have been made to begin to generate a predictive understanding
of the speed with which the RMS Titanic bow section is collapsing. Based upon
available video imagery up to 1998, there can be projected a rate of biodeterioration
that would be partially dependent on the growth rate of the rusticles both inside
and outside the steel, and also on the rate at which the iron is being exported
into the oceanic environment The table below summarizes the potential losses
of iron from the bow section under various conditions.
Estimated Time (calendar year, AD) Frame
For the Losses of Iron from the Steel Bow Section, RMS Titanic
Percentile Steel Loss under various Growth Conditions
Note: these are estimates based on a considerable level of uncertainty.
10% loss of iron would translate into the loss of all superstructures above the
hull, 20% loss would mean that all of the internal steel structures supporting
the decking would have collapsed, 30% would mean that the steel plating of the
hull itself was collapsing, and 40% would mean that there would be very little
structures above the large heavy iron structures such as the boilers. It should
also be noted that additional information from subsequent excursions in 1999 and
2000 to the RMS Titanic could allow more accurate predictions to be made.
In the event that the biodeterioration is proceeding at an even faster rate
than the "extreme" condition listed in the above table than there must
have been some very dramatic changes in the environmental conditions at the site.
These changes would have had to stimulate the growth of the rusticles one or two
orders of magnitude beyond this estimate. This might occur at the site if there
were to be a sudden increase in the available nutrients (e.g., "sea snow',
dissolved organic matter and/or slime from the ocean floor) to accelerate the
growth or there were dramatic changes in the environmental conditions at-site.
For example, sudden rises in temperature, shift in the pH, or changes in the reduction-oxidation
RMS Titanic provides a unique site for the pursuance of deep-oceanic science,
as well as archeology. There are many facets of the science that can be explored,
to learn not only more from that tragedy, but also perhaps prevent parallel tragedies
in the future.
Pellegrino, C. and D. Roy Cullimore (1997). The Rebirth of the RMS Titanic:
A study of the Bioarcheology of a Physically Disrupted Sunken Vessel. Voyage
25, June, pp.39-46.
Garzke, W.H., Brown, D.K., Matthius, P.K., Cullimore, R., Wood, D., Livingstone,
D., Leighley, H.P., Foecke, T., and A. Sandiford (1 997). Titanic, The Anatomy
of a Disaster, A report from the marine forensic panel (SD-7). The Society of
Naval Architects and Marine Engineers proceedings of the annual meeting, Ottawa,
Canada. Paper number one, 1 -I to 1-47.
Alford, G., and Roy Cullimore (I 998). The Application of Heat and Chemicals
in the Control of Biofouling Events in Wells. Technical series: The Sustainable
Wells (Series Editor: Dr. Roy Cullimore). Appendix pages 162-166. ISBN 1566703859.
Cullimore R., and L. Johnston (1 999). The Fate of the Iron: More Lessons
From The Titanic Tragedy. Maritime Reporter, August 1999. Pp.22 & 66.
Cullimore R. and L. Johnston (2000). The Science and the RMS Titanic, The
Biological Odyssey. Voyage 32, Spring Issue, Pp. 172-176. ISSN 1054-9269.
Cullimore R. and L. Johnston (2000). The Impact of Bioconcretious Structures
(Rusticles) on the RMS Titanic: Implications to Maritime Steel Structures. The
Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Annual Conference. Publication
and presentation October 6, 2000. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Cullimore R. and L. Johnston (2000). Biodeterioration of the RMS Titanic.
Canadian Chemical News Magazine (submitted for publication: November/December
Personal Biography of Denis Roy Cullimore, Ph.D., Registered Microbiologist
Born in Oxford, U.K. in 1936, educated at University of Nottingham obtaining
a B.Sc. (Agricultural Science) with Honors in 1959 and a Ph.D. in agricultural
microbiology in 1962. Lecturer at the University of Surrey, U.K., from 1962 to
1968 when appointed to a faculty position at the University of Regina, Canada.
Now Director, Regina Water Research Institute and Professor of Microbiology at
that institution. Registered microbiologist with the Canadian College of Microbiology.
Main expertise is in the area of applied microbial ecology. Major scientific
activities are listed by the decade they occurred in:
1960 - 69: Microbial genetics of fat synthesis, soil fertility testing using
algae (U.K. patent), research highlighted on the BBC TV show "Tomorrow's
1970 - 79: Pesticide interaction with soil microorganisms; detection of iron
bacteria in water wells, presented two series of six television documentary shows
on microbiology in the CTV "University of the Aie' series.
1980 - 89: Development of technologies to diagnose and rehabilitate biofouled
water wells (two U.S. patents); research projects relating to various aspects
of applied microbial ecology; formed Droycon Bioconcepts Inc as a biotechnology
company to conduct research, development and manufacture of intellectual properties,
initiated sales of the BARTTM water test systems for nuisance bacteria
in water. Two-week display at the provincial art gallery on bacteria etchings
recovered from high sand content golf courses suffering from black plug layer
1990 - 2000: Member of the federal Canadian Scientific Review Group for the
environmental impact assessment of high level nuclear disposal proposals, refined
and field tested new methods for the rehabilitation of biofouled water wells,
examined the potential for significant microbial biofouling of oil and gas wells,
member of the 1996 and 1998 scientific expeditions to the RMS Titanic and appeared
in several documentaries, authored two books on ground water microbiology and
became series editor on the topic "technical series on sustainable wells"
for Lewis Publishing / CRC Press with three books published to-date in the series,
became one of a team of three presenters for a series of two-day workshops on
water well rehabilitation for the ngwa, expanded the range of BARTTM
tests and consulting activities, co-invented three approved (U.S.) patents including
new coliform test, synthesis of in-ground biological barriers, and an alternative
bacteriological testing procedure, developed a predictive method for deter-mining
the rate at which water wells become fouled (well fouling index), designed part
of the "Titanic Science, Depths of Discovery" exhibition for the Maryland
Science Center with partial funding coming from the National Science Foundation
and due to open late in 2000, developing a new method for conducting rapid and
accurate biochemical oxygen demand tests using the BARTTM technology,
and authored a book published in 2000 by Lewis Publishing / CRC Press on "Simplified
Atlas for Bacteria Identification".
Productivity: published over one hundred refereed papers, 250 non-refereed
papers, and 400 technical reports. Has received over U.S.$3,000,000 in academic
research contributions and U.S.$1,400,000 in commercial research and development
Hobbies: cartooning (one book published), children's stories (two books published)
Cite this page Roy Cullimore & Lori Johnston (2001) Biodeterioration of the RMS Titanic Titanica! (ref: #1478, accessed 28th August 2015 10:29:19 AM)
URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/rms-titanic-biodeterioration.html
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