The daily vertical migration of zooplankton in the global oceans represents an important pathway by which carbon is shuttled from the sunlit surface to the deep dark ocean. While these vertical migrations can be detected in satellite retrievals of optical properties, their signal can be obscured by the diel behaviors of phytoplankton. Through cultivation-based experiments, my research seeks to tease apart the diel optical signatures associated with phytoplankton from those of vertical migrating zooplankton. This work will help to constrain remote sensing observations of diel vertical migrations, thereby allowing researchers to better assess how they vary across time and space as well as evaluate their role in global carbon cycling.
Ph.D. Marine Science, University of California Santa Barbara