Biological Oceanography Group
Francisco P. Chavez, Principal Investigator
We study the biology and chemistry of the ocean in relation to global change. How climate, ocean physics, marine chemistry, and ocean ecosystems co-vary on global to meso scales, and how this affects the temporal and spatial variability in phytoplankton biomass, composition and production.
The primary questions we seek to answer are:
- What are the mean and fluctuating components of phytoplankton primary production, biomass and species composition on time scales ranging from days to years.
- What are the physical, chemical and biological processes responsible for the mean and fluctuating components.
- What controls primary production and phytoplankton growth rates.
- What is the role of meso and macrozooplankton in coastal upwelling systems.
- What is the fate of primary production?
- What are the biological consequences of El Niño.
Focusing on the upper water column, we use instrumentation and systems for long-term ocean observing, such as satellite remote sensing, instrumented moorings and drifters, autonomous vehicles, and ships.