University faculty and agency scientists at the Hatfield Marine Science Center represent a wide range of research interests and specialties, covering deep sea, coastal, and estuarine environments. The researchers listed below, and potentially others not profiled here, can serve as REU project mentors.
Scott Baker is broadly interested in the evolutionary and ecological pattern and process in whales and dolphins, including their abundance, population structure, genetic diversity and systematic relationships. Scott is particularly interested in projects that bring together both molecular and demographic approaches to improve the conservation of these species. The advent of molecular genetics and the emerging fields of genomics and bioinformatics have provided powerful new tools to describe the hierarchical structure of biodiversity. These tools complement and extend, rather than replace, demographic methods used in animal ecology and conservation biology.
Current Research Topics include:
Michael Banks' program centers on the application of population genetic principles towards furthering basic knowledge and understanding of marine population processes. We are interested in i) genetic characterization of natural populations, fishery subjects and aquacultural species where we resolve hybridized, admixed, or recently diverged populations, and ii) statistical methods for determining component estimates for mixtures. We are particularly interested in evaluating the information content that can be gained from alternate genetic marker types and resolving links between genetic loci and life history variance.
Marine genetics projects in Banks' lab are diverse and include the following:
Ric Brodeur works with the Fish Ecology (FE) Division on factors
related to estuarine and ocean survival of salmon, examining aspects
of growth, distribution, and health of juvenile, and predator-prey
relationships within the ecosystem. Study sites range from small coastal
estuaries near Newport, to larger estuaries such as the Columbia River,
to the large coastal ecosystems of the California Current. Interns
have worked with the Fish Ecology program on a variety of projects
including understanding the distribution and life history of various
species of plankton and fish. Ric recently worked with an undergraduate
student to examine the food web relationships in the deepwater community
of Astoria Canyon. The intern processed trawl samples, examined diets
and stable isotopes for origins of food sources. She is a coauthor
on a paper that was presented at an international meeting and is presently
Introduced species are one of the greatest environmental concerns of
the new millennium. John is a pioneer of this field in marine and estuarine
ecosystems. His studies include the geography, biology, ecology and
history of introduced and native marine species. His research is conducted
within the local areas surrounding the Hatfield Marine Science Center
and the north Pacific and Atlantic. John's most recent REU collaboration
involved the energetic costs of an isopod parasite introduced with ballast
water to western US estuaries. The student measured the weight loss
in its new mudshrimp hosts to estimate per gram energetic costs of this
new parasite to its hosts. The student is senior author on a manuscript
describing this work being prepared for the Journal of Crustacean Biology.
He will present this work also at the international (ASLO) meeting in
Hawaii in February 2006.
Ted DeWitt is a part of EPA's Pacific Coastal Ecology Branch at HMSC, which aims to develop the scientific basis for assessing the condition and response of ecological resources of the US Pacific coast estuaries. EPA researchers explore linkages and feedbacks between habitats, fauna, and water quality in Pacific northwest estuaries. Ted is especially interested in the effects of nutrients (and other pollutants) on estuarine invertebrate communities and on critical ecosystem processes. Examples of internship projects include:
Two major research project’s are being addressed
in Brett Dumbauld’s lab: 1) ecology of pests and predators affecting West coast
marine shellfish aquaculture with a focus on the problem shellfish growers are currently
having with two species of burrowing shrimp that cause their crops to be smothered by
estuarine sediments and die and 2) the role of shellfish aquaculture in West coast
estuaries with a current focus on the effects of shellfish on eelgrass and other habitat
and the use of these habitats including aquaculture beds by other marine organisms. Study
sites include several West coast estuaries where shellfish aquaculture is important from
Humboldt Bay, California to Willapa Bay, Washington with a focus on the latter, since this
estuary produces over 10% of the nation’s oyster crop. Oyster growers in Washington state
have historically applied a pesticide to the estuarine tideflats to kill burrowing shrimp
and Brett’s research is designed to examine the life history and behavior of these shrimp
to assist the growers in finding alternative control procedures and develop an integrated
pest management plan. Pest control and other aquaculture practices certainly influence the
estuarine environment, but aquaculture is a very important component of the local coastal
economy and Brett’s research is designed to investigate this impact and determine whether
these practices are environmentally and economically sustainable and how to keep them that
way. Students can participate in on-going field studies in coastal estuaries and/or carry
out experiments in the laboratory. REU projects might involve examining burrowing shrimp
molting patterns and behavior, mating, or juvenile growth and behavior with a focus on
determining whether there are vulnerable periods for control. Other projects could be
related to several avenues of research into how juvenile fish and crab or other organisms
utilize shellfish aquaculture areas. These projects have and will continue to offer
opportunities to collaborate with other mentors, for example John Chapman with an
investigation of how parasitic isopods affect burrowing shrimp populations or Cliff Ryer
and Jessica Miller on fish behavior as it relates to shellfish as habitat.
The Acoustic Monitoring Project, managed by Bob Dziak,
is a joint venture between Oregon State University and the NOAA Vents
Program. The main research focus of the project’s faculty is to
develop effective hydroacoustic methods for the detection of earthquakes
associated with seafloor volcanic and tectonic activity. To accomplish
this goal, researchers use hydrophone arrays that are part of the U.S.
Navy's SOund SUrveillance System (SOSUS) that monitors northeast Pacific
spreading centers in real time. Project personnel also have developed
and deployed self-recording (autonomous) hydrophones used for regional
experiments throughout the global oceans.
Sarah works with the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center,
examining the ecological effects of wave energy development. Sarah's focus
is on fishes and invertebrates associated with the sea floor and those that
may become associated with wave energy devices following deployment. Work in
Sarah's lab includes large-scale community surveys as well as targeted experiments.
Tom Hurst is a Research Fisheries Biologist with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Fisheries Behavioral Ecology Program. Tom's research interests focus in the physiological ecology of fishes and how environmental variability affects the feeding, growth, and survival of early life stages of marine fishes. For example, a recent study compared the depth distribution, light requirements for feeding, and diets of three co-occurring flatfishes. Tom is particularly interested in the pervasive effects of temperature variation on fishes and communities. He recently completed a comprehensive review of the phenomenon of 'winter mortality' and is currently examining how temperature affects fish behavior, including schooling and vulnerability to predators. Species currently being researched are Pacific cod, walleye pollock, northern rock sole and Pacific halibut.
A current area of investigation that an intern would participate in is the effect of ocean acidification on larval and juvenile stages of Alaskan fishes. Ocean acidification is caused by the dissolution of anthropogenically produced CO2 into the surface ocean, reducing the pH of the ocean. Research has shown that low pH can affect the growth, survival, and behavior of small fishes. The selected intern will take primary responsibility for conducting experiments on one of these responses while collaborating on examination of other responses. Ultimately this data will be used in conjunction with climate models of the Bering Sea Gulf of Alaska to determine the long term consequences of ocean acidification to fisheries production.
Kym Jacobson and members of her lab are interested in the ecology of host-parasite interactions. Kym is zoologist with the Estuarine and Ocean Ecology program of NOAA Fisheries. Her current research examines the ecology of host-parasite interactions of anadromous and marine fishes in the Columbia River estuary and the Northeast Pacific Ocean. One area of research in her lab focuses on parasites of juvenile salmon as salmon make the transition from freshwater to estuarine and marine habitats to gain a better understanding of environmental factors that affect salmon-parasite relationships and the potential effects of parasites on growth and survival of salmon populations. Her research also examines parasites obtained through trophic interactions to gain a better understanding of fish diet, migration, and habitat use and conditions. In addition to studying parasite communities of juvenile salmon her lab is also studying parasites of Pacific sardines to gain a better understanding of migration patterns and habitat use to help delineate potential stock separation. Potential projects could examine any life stage of a parasite in fresh water, estuarine, or marine habitat.
The two major research themes being pursued in Chris Langdon's laboratory
are: 1) genetic effects on growth, survival, disease resistance and
morphology of Pacific oysters, and 2) nutritional requirements of altricial
marine fish larvae. The oyster genetics program complements research
in Michael Banks' laboratory. A major emphasis of this program is determination
of genetic effects on life history traits of Pacific oysters (Crassostrea
gigas). Banks and Langdon are also working to develop strategies to
restore populations of the native oyster (Ostrea lurida) on the West
coast by developing genetic markers for stock identification together
with manipulation of culture conditions to maximize reproductive success.
A research intern could i) determine physiological and behavioral traits
in larval and juvenile oysters that are correlated with growth and survival
of adults, ii) determine quantitative trait loci (QTL) that are correlated
with growth, survival, disease resistance or morphological traits of
oysters, or iii) determine microsatellite markers that allow identification
of different genetic stocks of native oysters on the West coast.
Ben Laurel is a Research Fisheries Biologist with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center's
Fisheries Behavioral Ecology Program. His interests include the behavioral and physiological
ecology of larvae and juvenile fish species in coldwater marine systems. He is particularly
interested in the role that behavior and physiology drive patterns of habitat use, survival
and dispersal during these early life stages. He uses a combination of experimental and
field approaches in his research.
I am interested in the ecology and evolution of life history diversity in fishes and the development and maintenance of that diversity. My research focuses on dispersal and transport, population connectivity, and migratory behavior of marine and anadromous fishes. For example, I am interested in how juvenile salmon use coastal watersheds and how management and restoration activities affect those patterns. I have combined techniques, including otolith microchemistry, genetic, and time-series analyses, to provide novel information on these topics. Currently, I am continuing to use otolith microstructure and chemistry to identify patterns of mixing and migration in marine and anadromous and also working on the ecological assessment of estuarine restoration efforts. REU projects could involve reconstruction of migratory behavior in juvenile salmonids, estuarine field research on the impacts of native oyster restoration, or participation in laboratory experiments.
Kathleen O’Malley’s research interests focus on the evolutionary and ecological processes in freshwater and marine species and how they interact to shape life history variation within and among populations. The goal is to advance our understanding of population abundance and structure, genetic diversity, and the genetic mechanisms underlying life history trait variation and assist fishery management and conservation efforts. Kathleen’s research group uses cutting-edge molecular techniques as means to identify factors important to retaining genetically healthy populations.
Intern projects may focus on::
Dr. Peterson's research in biological and fisheries oceanography encompasses several research programs, including research in the Northeast Pacific GLOBEC program. One of his main interests is how climate variability and climate change impact marine food webs and Pacific salmon. Towards that end, his laboratory maintains a long-term study of hydrography and plankton dynamics along a sampling line that crosses the continental shelf off Newport, OR and is sampled biweekly. These cruises have been conducted continuously since 1996, which provides the opportunity for projects related to long-term changes in the plankton community in relation to climate variability. Research cruises sample each of seven stations, using CTD casts, surface water samples, phytoplankton nets and zooplankton tows to collect data on physical, chemical and biological parameters. Live animals are collected and transported to the laboratory for experimental measurements of euphausiid (krill) egg production and molting rates, and copepod egg production rates. Undergraduate students can participate in oceanographic cruises and carry out laboratory experiments on living zooplankton and phytoplankton. Recent interests have focused on the impact of seasonal hypoxia and ocean acidification on the development of zooplankton including krill and copepods. Dr. Peterson's lab is also involved in research on harmful algal blooms (HAB) and is working on techniques to forecast their occurrence.
Dr. Peterson is also a principal investigator in a study that examines the effects of physical and biotic conditions on the distribution of zooplankton and fish, especially salmon. Research cruises are conducted in May, June and September to determine the distribution and abundance of zooplankton, juvenile salmon, and other fishes in relation to ocean conditions. One focus of this effort is on how changes in zooplankton community composition relate to salmon survival and growth rates, and how each is related to climate variability. This research has shown that zooplankton can be useful indicators of climate variability and that these lower trophic level organisms are good indicators of ecosystem health. These oceanographic data are applied to forecasting the returns of salmon to coastal rivers; these forecasts are available on the web at http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov under "Ocean Conditions and Salmon Forecasting".
REU students who have worked in the Peterson lab have studied habitat use of juvenile salmon, and compared catches of krill in different types of plankton nets. They have also conducted experiments with live zooplankton to measure vital rates of krill (growth, molting, feeding), and to examine the effects of low oxygen concentration (hypoxia) on hatching of copepod eggs and development of nauplii. All REU students have had the opportunity to participate in oceanographic cruises.
Clare Reimers conducts research in biogeochemistry and chemical oceanography from laboratories within HMSC. Her lab group employs novel electrochemical methods to study how chemical resources are utilized in diverse marine environments. In one recent project, different designs of microelectrodes were used to characterize distributions of pore water O2, Fe, Mn, H2S and pH around rhizomes and vertical roots of the seagrass Zostera marina. This work was in collaboration with plant physiologists and modelers from the EPA lab at HMSC. Electrochemical sensors are also being applied in situ as part of a study of biogeochemical processes associated with rippled sand beds on continental shelves. The sensors are used to detect dissolved iodide as a tracer of pore-fluid velocities under the influences of natural waves and currents. For a third project, electrochemical devices placed across the sediment-water interface are being developed to harvest low-levels of electrical power by using natural, continually renewed, chemical resources in sediment and at geochemical seeps as "fuel" and dissolved seawater oxygen as oxidant. This new technology functions much like a microbial fuel cell, taking advantage of the voltage gradient that occurs in the top few centimeters of the sediment column. Interns working in Reimers lab would be engaged in both field and laboratory aspects of these and other interdisciplinary studies. They would be taught analytical techniques and given the opportunity to collect and interpret data sets that reveal spatial and temporal variation in biogeochemical processes. The student may also develop a working model of a benthic microbial fuel cell for an exhibit in the HMSC Visitors Center and/or make exhibit improvements based on public responses.
Shawn joined the staff of Sea Grant Extension and the Department of Science and Math Education at OSU after receiving his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. His research combines methods for studying learning outside of school with tools for analyzing how groups make sense out of what they say and do. Along with Dr. Olga Rowe, he has carried out research in history and science museums both in the US and in Ukraine. His current position combines academic work on Free-choice learning with practice-based research in the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center in Newport, OR.
Cliff Ryer and other faculty at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center's
Fisheries Behavioral Ecology Program conduct basic and applied studies
on fish behavior to improve our understanding of how environmental variables
regulate distribution, abundance, growth and survival of marine fishes.
The goal is to provide critical information needed to improve survey
techniques and population assessments, define essential fish habitat,
and to protect and conserve populations of economically significant
marine resource species and their habitats in Alaska. Student research
projects typically address one small aspect of the greater mosaic of
research conducted by the FBEP group. For example, the group has extensive
experience working with the effects of light, turbidity, prey size and
density upon the foraging behavior and success of planktivores. Therefore,
a student project could examine zooplankton escape behavior and whether
it becomes more effective under low light or high turbidity, as planktivore
vision and ability to pursue prey is degraded.
My research interests include marine ecosystem processes and their effect on life history, foraging ecology, predator-prey interactions, and population dynamics of upper trophic-level consumers, particularly seabirds, and fishery interactions. My most recent investigations include studying how changes in ocean climate affect prey distribution and, in turn, foraging, and population dynamics of seabirds. Other research projects include satellite tracking and remote sensing applications to study atmospheric and oceanographic effects on predator distributions, experimental assessment of endangered species reintroductions, and identification of multi-species indicators of ecosystem change. My research methodologies include animal tracking and remote sensing applications, as well as colony- and ship-based observational studies and dietary stable isotope analysis.
A variety of opportunities exist for interns working with me at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. We have seabird breeding colonies locally that would permit observational field studies and opportunities for at-sea surveys aboard research vessels. REUs with more analytical or computer-based interests could focus on satellite tracking and remote sensing data using GIS applications. This year we are especially looking for students with interests in predator-prey studies, either of seabirds and their prey...or seabirds and their predators
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