Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Kelly Benoit-Bird


Oregon State University

Sounding out the secrets of life in the ocean

Special Thursday Seminar

Thursday — July 10, 2014
Pacific Forum — 3:00 p.m.


We have long known that predators cannot survive on the average concentrations of food in the ocean. When we examine the biology with greater resolution than is possible with traditional tools, we find that instead of being relatively devoid of life, the ocean is peppered with narrow hot-spots of activity. That the ocean is not uniform—that it is messy, patchy, and heterogeneous—is key to life in the ocean.. We recently expanded this work to the highly undersampled 600 and 100 m depth horizon through the development of a new Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. This platform allows us to use sound to simultaneously observe the interactions of multiple trophic levels, providing an understanding of the mechanisms driving whale behavior and habitat use. Across ecosystems, over great depth ranges, relatively rare patches of high organism abundance can have impacts on ecosystems disproportionate to their contribution to the total biomass.

Next: July 23 - Jonathan Stark and Glenn Johnstone