Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

2011 projects

Upper ocean biogeochemistry

Ecology and Dynamics of Picophytoeukaryotes

Project Manager: Alexandra Z. Worden
Lead Scientists: Alexandra Z. Worden, Sebastian Sudek
Project website

The Worden lab continues to enhance understanding of the controls and dynamics of the picophytoeukaryote community (tiny plankton 0.2 to 2.0 microns in size) within the broader context of phytoplankton ecology and global biogeochemical cycles. Working with MBARI engineers, the project team will refine design of chemostats for use in research on the impacts of climate change. They will develop quantitative methods for evaluating picophytoeukaryote communities and their activities, as well as methods for targeted environmental transcriptomics (all the genes expressed at a point in time in one defined area) of the eukaryotic phytoplankton. The team will also investigate potential target genes for physiological stress relative to climate change, and methods toward understanding the impact of grazers on the fate and transport of primary production.

Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network (AOSN)

Project Manager and Lead Scientist: Jim Bellingham
Project website

The project team will extend the methods and technology previously developed to address biological process experiments in the context of the Controlled, Agile, and Novel Observing Network (CANON) initiative. Their plans include furthering the capabilities of Tethys, the long-range autonomous underwater vehicle, to support multiple vehicle sampling, to quantify observation system performance, and to improve cyber-infrastructure to enable integrated biological process experiments. Theory will be coupled with field experiments to characterize Monterey Bay's microbial communities.

Probe Chemistries for Use with the Environmental Sample Processor (ESP)

Project Manager: Jim Birch
Lead Scientists:Roman Marin III, Chris Preston, Chris Scholin
Project website

This project complements engineering efforts and field operations encompassed by the Sensors: Underwater Research of the Future (SURF) Center and is strengthened by collaborations within the CANON initiative as well as external researchers. The Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) team plans to develop a variety of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays, having successfully demonstrated the qPCR method on the ESP in situ in both shallow water and the deep sea. The team will also devise probe arrays that target deep-sea microbes and continue efforts to transfer practical knowledge of ESP operations and reagent production to academic and industry partners.

Monterey Bay Time Series

Project Manager: Tim Pennington
Lead Scientist: Francisco Chavez
Project website

The Chavez lab continues its time series work in Monterey Bay, using moorings, ships, drifters, gliders, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), satellites, and models. The program in the past has identified a number of natural rhythms, including El NiƱo/Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. To support the needs of the CANON Initiative, the team will also examine global warming and oceanic variability and changes and the associated phytoplankton dynamics.

Last updated: Dec. 14, 2010