Research in the Plankton Ecology Lab



Welcome to the Plankton Ecology Laboratory where we conduct basic and applied research on the ecology of the early stages of marine fishes and invertebrates.

Most marine fishes produce small larvae that spend weeks to months in the plankton before they recruit to the adult population. The small size of larvae coupled with the vast and complex ocean makes it challenging to understand the events the influence larval growth and survival. We use an array of new Sampling Technologies to investigate growth, survival, and dispersal of young fishes in the plankton.

Projects listed in Current Research and Recent Research highlight some questions of interest. The data we collect (see Sponaugle Publications and Cowen Publications) are not only relevant to ecology and oceanography, but also are useful for quantifying population replenishment, designing and evaluating marine reserves, and interpreting future environmental changes.