Beyond the Snapshot: Plankton Imaging for Ecological Synthesis and Process-oriented Oceanography

The School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences presents Dr. Adam Greeg, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, University of Georgia

Beyond the Snapshot: Plankton Imaging for Ecological Synthesis and Process-oriented Oceanography

Zooplankton communities consist of drifting crustacean, gelatinous, and larval animals, serving as a critical link between ocean primary production and higher trophic levels (e.g., economically important fish species). Relatively new sampling technologies, such as in situ imaging systems, are resolving the fine-scale (1-10m) distributions of understudied and fragile gelatinous zooplankton, ecological interactions among zooplankton, and their relationships oceanographic features (e.g., fronts and thin layers) that are important mechanisms of trophic transfer.

Although these datasets represent a plethora of exciting oceanographic and ecological descriptions, they only capture a snapshot state of the ocean environment and its zooplankton inhabitants. To understand how zooplankton distributions were generated or may change through time, we can employ comparative approaches among ecosystems and time points, as well as leverage other techniques. Here, I focus on new results comparing in situ imaging datasets among shelf ecosystems with different oceanographic properties to reveal key drivers of the abundances of common gelatinous zooplankton. Coupling in situ imaging with ocean modeling, artificial intelligence approaches, and conventional oceanographic sampling, reveals behavioral and physical oceanographic processes that generate distinct fine-scale habitat associations for different zooplankton groups. This current “golden age” of oceanographic sampling and computing power is moving us closer to understanding the fundamental processes driving the distribution and abundance of life in the ocean.

Event Details


  • Thursday, December 1, 2022 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Hybrid seminar - Zoom & ES&T L1205



For More Information Contact

Amanda Timmerman