Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
The Emerging Science of a
High CO2 / Low pH Ocean


Biology Overview

Biology Team Members

  • Principal Investigator:
    • Jim Barry, Senior Scientist: Benthic Biology & Ecology.
  • Team Members:
    • Kurt Buck, Senior Research Specialist .
    • Taewon Kim, MBARI Post-doctoral Fellow (2011-2013).
    • Linda Kuhnz, Senior Research Technician.
    • Chris Lovera, Research Technician.
    • Eric Pane, MBARI Post-doctoral Fellow (2005-2009).
    • Josi Taylor, Research Associate.
    • Patrick Whaling, Senior Research Technician.

The overarching goal of the Biology Team within the High CO2 Project is to broaden the state of knowledge concerning the effects of future changes in ocean temperature and chemistry, including ocean acidification and potentially expanding hypoxia, on the diversity, abundance, and productivity of ecosystems inhabiting the shallow and deep waters of the oceans.

The specific components are:

  1. Field Experiments evaluating responses (survival, metabolic rate) of various representative organisms (e.g. sea stars, urchins, mollusks, etc) to elevated CO2 levels.
  2. Laboratory Studies with a regulated gas aquarium system capable of controlling temperature, CO2, and O2 is our principal facility for lab-based studies of tolerance to hypercapnia and hypoxia. The aquaria studies will focus on two main categories of research:
    • Adult tolerance (e.g. sea stars, urchins, and other echinoderms, brachiopods, jellies, sea pens, molluscs).
    • Early life history phases (eggs, larvae, or juveniles of various species (brachiopods, urchins, jellyfish, and others).
  3. Collaborative research activities with highly qualified external colleagues.

Benthic Biology CO2 exposure experiment

ROV framegrab of an early benthic biology / CO2 exposure experiment. The white "corrals" contained pools of liquid CO2 providing plumes of CO2 enriched seawater as the natural ebb & flow of benthic currents dispursed this material around the site. The black cages and fish traps contained a variety of organisms for study to gage their varied resistance to high CO2 / low pH seawater. The yellow pressure case in the fore-ground contained the control system for a time lapse video recording system. Lack of control of exposure to the CO2 enriched seawater during these experiments was one of the motivating factors in the development of the FOCE experiments.

See also:  Benthic Biology & Ecology Web Page

Questions? Comments? Please contact Edward Peltzer.
Last updated: Feb. 04, 2015