Susan von Thun

Senior Research Technician/Social Media Specialist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
SOCCOM Social Media Specialist
Office Phone
Climate Central, 7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing CA 95039


As a Senior Research Technician in MBARI’s video lab, Susan has become an expert in identifying midwater animals from MBARI’s remotely operated vehicles (ROV) video. Video lab staff use VARS (Video Annnotation Reference System) to describe the animals and habitats observed with ROV and AUV video. She has worked with engineers and scientists to make this rich data set as robust and usable as possible. The data is publicly available through the VARS public query and MBARI Deep-Sea Guide.  She also manages MBARI’s social media and is passionate about science communication, using YouTubeFacebookTwitter, and Instagram to share MBARI and SOCCOM research with the public.

Susan participates in many research cruises with MBARI Scientists on MBARI vessels R/V Western Flyer and R/V Rachel Carson. On these expeditions. At sea, she uses VARS to annotate the video, as well as to find and identify target animals for the science team. She often writes about life at sea for MBARI’s Expedition logs.