Monday, July 30, 2012

Trophic BATS Cruise

As we speak, the second Trophic BATS (Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study) cruise of 2012 is wrapping up aboard the R/V Atlantic Explorer. With the broad goal of exploring the ecological controls on carbon export in the ocean, the Trophic BATS project involves more than a dozen scientists from five oceanographic and marine research institutions, each playing a unique role in the symphony of science taking place during the cruise.

Lomas Group - BIOS
Dr. Michael Lomas, senior research scientist and PI of the Phytolankton Ecology Lab (PEL) at BIOS, is co-PI of the Trophic BATS project.  His research foci include the ecological linkages between phytoplankton functional diversity and nutrient biogeochemical cycling, long-term patterns and controls on pico-phytoplankton diversity in the Atlantic, and flow cytometry techniques as an investigative tool.  While on board, he is assisted by Doug Bell, Kristina Terpis, and Anna Rumyantseva (research technicians).

Richardson Group – University of South Carolina
Dr. Tammi Richardson, Associate Professor in the Marine Science Program and Biological Sciences at USC, is the chief scientist of the cruise and lead PI on the Trophic BATS project.  She studies phytoplankton and how light, nutrients, and temperature influence phytoplankton growth and taxonomic composition, including the development of “red tides" (harmful algal blooms). On this cruise she is accompanied by her lab technician, Emily Goldman, and two students: Bridget Bachman (Ph.D. student) and Eric Lachenmyer (M.S. student).

Neuer Group – Arizona State University
Dr. Susanne Neuer is an Associate Professor in Organismal, Integrative, and Systems Biology at Arizona State University and co-PI on the Trophic BATS project.  Her main research interest is the dynamics of the biological carbon pump and the role of ocean biota in the carbon export to the deep sea.  Her group also works on several aspects of plankton ecology, including model systems of trophic interactions and molecular-based analysis of plankton diversity.  Her team includes Francesca De Martini (Ph.D. student), Megan Wolverton (undergraduate research assistant), and Dr. Stephanie Wilson (visiting postdoctoral scholar from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution).

Condon Group – Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Dr. Rob Condon is a Faculty Research Scientist at Dauphin Island Sea Lab and co-PI of the Trophic BATS project. He is a plankton and microbial ecologist interested in understanding the climatological, physical and biogeochemical processes controlling zooplankton and bacterial communities and carbon cycling. A former BIOS faculty member, Dr. Condon is using the Trophic BATS cruise to investigate species composition, feeding mechanisms, metabolic rates, and the biological and physical mechanisms controlling the seasonal distributions of migrating zooplankton communities.  Although not aboard the current cruise, his lab is represented by Naomi Shelton (research technician) and graduate students Josh Stone and Travis Goodloe.

Moran Group – University of Rhode Island
Dr. Bradley Moran, Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, is also a co-PI of the Trophic BATS project. His research interests lie in the application of radionuclides as tracers of marine geochemical processes, including particle and carbon dynamics.  His lab is represented on the current cruise by Brendan Mackinson (Ph.D. student).

Elin Haugen is a Research Technician at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine.  She specializes in using flow cytometry techniques and is running the instrument on board the AE while out at sea.

Stay tuned to the BIOS Research Blog for more posts about the various research projects taking place aboard the R/V Atlantic Explorer.

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