Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

2012 projects

Midwater research

Biodiversity and Biooptics of Zooplankton

Project lead/manager: Steve Haddock

A major element of this research concentrates on clarifying the phylogeny and systematics of ctenophores, siphonophores, and hydromedusae as a framework for enabling future biodiversity and ecology studies of these organisms. Development of in situ fluorescence visualization continues with the goal of helping remotely operated vehicle (ROV) pilots to maintain their view of subjects while maneuvering the vehicle. Cloning and characterization of fluorescent proteins and photoproteins will also continue toward a comparative view of the evolution of fluorescence and luminescence as a form of communication among marine animals.

Midwater Ecology

Project lead: Bruce Robison
Project manager: Kim Reisenbichler
Project website

Robison's midwater research group is studying oxygen consumption rates of animals to determine the physiological effects of declining oxygen concentrations in the midwater environment. The principal target species, the shrimp Sergestes similis and the larvacean Bathochordaeus charon, will be studied both in situ and in laboratory experiments on respiration and growth. Studies are also being conducted to determine age and growth rates of deepwater squids.

Midwater Time Series

Project lead: Bruce Robison
Project manager: Rob Sherlock

Since 1993, MBARI has been surveying the midwater and providing quantitative analyses of the animals encountered there. The expanding oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) is creating an enlarged habitat for those species that are physiologically adapted to tolerate low levels of oxygen, while forcing some species shallower and other species deeper. The time-series data are used to monitor biodiversity and gauge the abundance and responses of the animals in the OMZ.

Moored Midwater Camera System

Project leads: Dale Graves, Henk-Jan Hoving, Bruce Robison
Project manager: Kim Reisenbichler

A non-intrusive, automated camera system will be designed and developed for midwater research, building on other MBARI imaging projects. The information collected will allow for comparison of data collected during ROV surveys with a potentially more cost-effective, non-intrusive camera system that ultimately could be adapted for use on an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

Last updated: Mar. 07, 2012