Ben is an awesome scientist. He always says he is “just” the host guy but in reality he is a very knowledgeable expert on marine animal-microbial symbioses from deep-sea invertebrates to sponges and lucinid clams, with an emphasis on gene expression studies. Moreover, he is an amazing naturalist and skilled field biologist. He is an incredible diver and a companion you can rely on. He is passionate about outreach, teaching high school students about different coastal marine environments, marine ecology, and marine animal biology. Ben got his Ph.D. at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Before joining us, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at DOME (Division of Microbial Ecology) in Vienna, Austria. Ben is a soulmate. He has been there for us in good and in bad times.