Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
2004 projects
ROV / AUV enhancements and upgrades

High-resolution measurements of bioluminescence and zooplankton in Monterey Bay

Project Manager/Lead Scientist: Steve Haddock
Lead Scientist: Christy Herren
Lead Engineer: Hans Thomas

Our goals for 2004 are to use autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and other platforms to gather bioluminescence and plankton distribution data. We will work with oceanographic models to examine the factors leading up to the observed distribution. The science behind this project is motivated by (1) predicting the distribution of bioluminescent organisms over time and space, (2) determining the relationships between bioluminescence and zooplankton populations, and (3) providing data which can be analyzed in integrated modeling/observation exercises.

We are also developing new analytical tools to examine the data. For example, spectrum analysis of bioluminescence signals (rather than merely integrating the total amount of light) can help discriminate what type of plankton produced the flash, and allow more thorough quantification of these sources. Using our observations, we are refining hypotheses about the causes of the observed patterns, while processing the voluminous data we have collected. Finally, we will collect complete seasonal data to in order to extrapolate observations, for a cross-seasonal picture of the trends in bioluminescence (and therefore plankton) distributions.

Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009