“fish2887 by NOAA Photo Library. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Fish & Plankton

The largest ocean on the planet, the Pacific Ocean is also home to the largest collected biomass of marine life on Earth.  Vital to the economies of all nations that ring the Pacific, the productivity of fish and planktonic populations is an area of important research that has multifaceted global implications.

Plankton underpin nearly all marine food webs.  Driven through the sea by prevailing currents, and found in all ocean bodies, plankton are primary producers of energy–consuming nutrients and abundant solar energy–that provide the foundation of food for nearly all marine species.  Plankton are consumed by primary consumers, which in turn provide nutrient resources to secondary and tertiary fish consumers.

Research within the School explores the complex chemical, biological, and physical processes that shape and constrain ecosystem interactions between the smallest microbes and plankton that underpin the trophic system to the largest apex pelagic predators that sit atop the trophic ladder.