Biological Oceanography Group (BOG)

Francisco P. Chavez, Principal Investigator

Since 1989 our laboratory group at MBARI has used moorings, drifters, gliders, AUVs, ships, satellites and models to study ocean spatiotemporaly variability (ENSO, PDO, global warming) with emphases on phytoplankton, the California Current system, and platform and sensor development. In the navigation bar to the left, we provide evolving links to our people, projects, and products.

Our group studies the biogeochemical response to climate and ocean variability. The data used in these investigation come from moorings, with novel instruments and telemetry, satellites and ships.

Our studies include projects in Central California, the equatorial Pacific, and Peru. Additionally we have participated on several NOAA cruises and the collaborative modeling project NOPP. Visit projects or roadmap for more information.

The primary questions we seek to answer are:

  1. What are the mean and fluctuating components of phytoplankton primary production, biomass and species composition on time scales ranging from days to years.
  2. What are the physical, chemical and biological processes responsible for the mean and fluctuating components.
  3. What controls primary production and phytoplankton growth rates.
  4. What is the role of meso and macrozooplankton in coastal upwelling systems.
  5. What is the fate of primary production?
  6. What are the biological consequences of El Niño.

[shareprints gallery_id=”950″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”small” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]

[shareprints gallery_id=”696″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”small” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]Figure 1. Phytoplankton collected in 1994 from the N. Atlantic.

Figure 2. Maintenance day on the M2 Mooring

Figure 3. SeaWiFS satellite image from May 1998

If you have comments regarding the Biological Oceanography Group’s web pages you are welcome to contact us through our group’s webmaster, reiko at MBARI provides data “as is”, with no warranty, express or implied, of the quality or consistency. Data are provided without support and without obligation on the part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to assist in its use, correction, modification, or enhancement.

Last updated: Aug. 19, 2014


Upper-ocean systems
Acoustical ocean ecology
Acoustic instruments
Acoustic fingerprinting
Acoustic community ecology
Acoustics in the news
Biological oceanography
Global modes of sea surface temperature
Nitrate supply estimates in upwelling systems
Chemical sensors
Chemical data
Land/Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory in Elkhorn Slough
Listing of floats
SOCCOM float visualization
Periodic table of elements in the ocean
Biogeochemical-Argo Report
Profiling float
Marine microbes
Population dynamics of phytoplankton
Microbial predators
Microbe-algae interactions
Targeted metagenomics
In the news
Upcoming events and lab news
Past talks and presentations
Join the lab
Molecular ecology
Molecular systematics
SIMZ Project
Bone-eating worms
Gene flow and dispersal
Molecular-ecology expeditions
Interdisciplinary field experiments
Ecogenomic Sensing
Genomic sensors
Field experiments
Harmful algal blooms (HABs)
Water quality
Environmental Sample Processor
ESP Web Portal
In the news
Ocean observing system
Midwater research
Midwater ecology
Deep-sea squids and octopuses
Food web dynamics
Midwater time series
Respiration studies
Zooplankton biodiversity
Seafloor processes
Biology and ecology
Effects of humans
Ocean acidification, warming, deoxygenation
Lost shipping container study
Effects of upwelling
Faunal patterns
Past research
Technology development
High-CO2 / low-pH ocean
Benthic respirometer system
Climate change in extreme environments
Monitoring instrumentation suite
Sargasso Sea research
Antarctic research
Long-term time series
Geological changes
Arctic Shelf Edge
Continental Margins and Canyon Dynamics
Coordinated Canyon Experiment
Monterey Canyon: Stunning deep-sea topography revealed
Ocean chemistry of greenhouse gases
Emerging science of a high CO2/low pH ocean
Submarine volcanoes
Mid-ocean ridges
Magmatic processes
Volcanic processes
Explosive eruptions
Hydrothermal systems
Back arc spreading ridges
Near-ridge seamounts
Continental margin seamounts
Non-hot-spot linear chains
Eclectic seamounts topics
Margin processes
Hydrates and seeps
California borderland
Hot spot research
Hot-spot plumes
Magmatic processes
Volcanic processes
Explosive eruptions
Volcanic hazards
Hydrothermal systems
Flexural arch
Coral reefs
ReefGrow software
Eclectic topics
Submarine volcanism cruises
Volcanoes resources
Areas of study
Microscopic biology research
Open ocean biology research
Seafloor biology research
Automated chemical sensors
Methane in the seafloor
Volcanoes and seamounts
Hydrothermal vents
Methane in the seafloor
Submarine canyons
Earthquakes and landslides
Ocean acidification
Physical oceanography and climate change
Ocean circulation and algal blooms
Ocean cycles and climate change
Research publications