Pelagic-Benthic Coupling OverviewTeamProjectsPublicationsLatest NewsTechnologies Our lab group uses autonomous instrumentation to study ecological responses of marine communities in extreme environments to changes in climate and carbon cycling. The lab conducts an ongoing time-series study at Station M, 4,000 meters deep in the Northeast Pacific. Station M instrumentation suite. In addition to this work, studies in Antarctica measure impacts of melting icebergs on marine biogeochemistry (see published research). Our work in the Sargasso Sea has shown a major decline in biodiversity over the past 40 years, during which ocean temperatures and acidity have risen steadily. Team Directory Ken Smith Senior Scientist/Marine Ecologist Principal Investigator Rich Henthorn Software Engineer Christine Huffard Senior Research Specialist Larissa Lemon Research Technician Paul McGill Electrical Engineer Alana Sherman Electrical Engineering Group Lead Projects All Projects Station M Long-term Time Series Project Station M Long-term Time Series The Station M study is one of the most detailed investigations of any abyssal area in the world ocean. Over this 25-year study, we have continuously monitored the amount of sinking particulate matter through the benthic boundary layer. Sargasso Sea Research Project Sargasso Sea Research Sargassum algal rafts in the Sargasso Sea are vital feeding and spawning grounds for fishes, seabirds, sea turtles, and whales. Researchers investigate how changes in ocean conditions and Sargassum habitat impact rafting animals. Antarctic Research Project Antarctic Research Global climate change is causing Antarctic ice shelves to shrink and split apart, yielding thousands of free-drifting icebergs that impact nearby chemistry and ecology, serving as “hotspots” for ocean life. Publications All Publications Lemon, L.M., K.L. Smith Jr., and C.L. Huffard. 2022. Abyssal epibenthic holothurians respond differently to food quantity and concentration fluctuations over a decade of daily observation (2007 ̶ 2017). Deep-Sea Research I, 188(103853): 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2022.103853 Miguez-Salas, O., M.F. Vardaro, F.J. Rodríguez-Tovar, J.A. Perez-Claros, and C.L. Huffard. 2022. Deep-sea echinoid trails and seafloor nutrient distribution: Present and past implications. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9: 1–9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.903864 Michaud, C.A., C.L. Huffard, K.L. Smith Jr, and C.A. Durkin. 2022. Changes in phytoplankton and biomineral content of particles during episodic fluxes to abyssal depth. Limnology and Oceanography Letters, 7: 342–353, https://doi.org/10.1002/lol2.10255 Smith, K. L. Jr., M. Messié, T.P. Connolly, and C.L. Huffard. 2022. Decadal time-series depletion of dissolved oxygen at abyssal depths in the Northeast Pacific. Geophysical Research Letters, 49(e2022GL101018): 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GL101018 Smith, Jr., K.L., A.D. Sherman, P.R. McGill, R.G. Henthorn, J. Ferreira, T.P. Connolly, and C.L. Huffard. 2021. Abyssal Benthic Rover, an autonomous vehicle for long-term monitoring of deep-ocean processes. Science Robotics, 6(60): eabl4925. https://doi.org/10.1126/scirobotics.abl4925 Latest News All News News Autonomous robotic rover helps scientists with long-term monitoring of deep-sea carbon cycle and climate change Press Release 11.03.21 News New papers describe discoveries at MBARI’s long-term deep-sea research site off California News 06.16.20 News Deep-sea animal communities can change dramatically and erratically over time News 04.07.20 Technologies All Technologies Instrument Laser Measure Technology Laser Measure ROV Video Transects MBARI’s remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) frequently perform benthic video transects, where the ROV flies in a straight line just above the seafloor over kilometer distances. The main video camera records all of the benthic animals seen, providing valuable information to benthic ecologists on what species are present and in what numbers. While … Software Video Annotation and Reference System (VARS) Technology Video Annotation and Reference System (VARS) A software interface and database system that provides tools for describing, cataloging, retrieving, and viewing the data associated with deep-sea video archives. Vehicle, Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) Wave Glider Technology Wave Glider An autonomous surface vehicle built by Liquid Robotics, purchased and outfitted with sensors and communications gear by MBARI engineering. Vehicle, Autonomous Robotic Rover, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Benthic Rover Technology Benthic Rover A mobile lab that methodically charts deep-sea carbon cycles. Vehicle, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) ROV Doc Ricketts Technology ROV Doc Ricketts An integrated unmanned submersible research platform with features providing efficient, reliable, and precise sampling and data collection. Instrument Sediment Event Sensor (SES) Technology Sediment Event Sensor (SES) A sediment trap that images the sample rather than collecting it. Instrument Sediment Traps Technology Sediment Traps Sediment traps collect the samples needed for the lab’s measure of particulate organic carbon. Data All Data Sorry, no results were found.