Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

2011 projects

Midwater research

Midwater Ecology

Project Manager: Kim Reisenbichler
Lead Scientist: Bruce Robison
Project website

The Midwater Lab is examining the effects of an expanding oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) on midwater communities. They are measuring changes in the vertical distribution patterns of key mesopelagic species and the physiological requirements that dictate these changes. Experiments with the midwater respirometer in deep water allows the lab group to anticipate the impacts by measuring nutrient energy consumption at each trophic level of the midwater food web. They are also estimating the amount of carbon that flows through the system. Using the remotely operated vehicle Doc Ricketts, the team will begin to incorporate deeper-living species into their in situ respiration studies.

Midwater Time Series

Project Manager: Rob Sherlock
Lead Scientist: Bruce Robison
Project website

Since 1993, MBARI has been surveying the midwater and providing quantitative analyses of the animals encountered there. The midwater biology team will use the time-series data to monitor biodiversity and gauge the abundance and responses of the animals in the oxygen minimum zone. The expanding OMZ is creating an enlarged habitat for those species that are physiologically adapted to tolerate low levels of oxygen, such as the vampire squid.

Zooplankton Biodiversity and Bio-optics

Project Manager and Lead Scientist: Steve Haddock

Haddock's project is to characterize and monitor gelatinous plankton to determine the identity and relationships of animals. He will use historic MBARI data to look for changes, using the gelatinous plankton as keystone and indicator species for communities.

Last updated: Dec. 14, 2010