In 2002 the Institute funded proposals from four WHOI researchers. Two apply genomic techniques to studies of bacteria and toxic red-tide algae. Another examines effects of copper pollution from mining on seaweeds along the coast of Chile. The fourth develops a technique to measure oxygen isotopes in coral skeletons and to deduce the ocean temperature when the animals lived.
Progress continues on projects funded in 2001. Scott Gallager and Mark Grosenbaugh are studying the swimming dynamics of cod larvae, and another biologist-engineer team advanced their development of a heart-rate sensor for tagging whales. Heidi Sosik and Rob Olson have made great strides with their new instrument to simultaneously identify phytoplankton cells and gauge their physiological state. Mark Baumgartner was appointed a Postdoctoral Scholar to study foraging behavior of Right Whales, and Joint Program student Jonathan Blythe continues work on protozoan physiology.
Three Institute fellows are now in their second year of funding: Ken Buesseler is investigating the role of biology in transport of carbon to the deep sea, Darlene Ketten continues expanding applications of CT scanning and visualization, and Simon Thorrold is using geochemical tracers in animal skeletons to learn about the habitats and population dynamics of fishes and invertebrates. In addition, Ken Halanych pursued studies of the evolutionary relationships of worms and related forms prior to his departure to another faculty position at the end of the year.
Important progress was made in two initiatives. The Right Whale group prepared a comprehensive proposal to save this endangered whale from extinction. In Panama, OLI became a partner in a new tropical field station that will offer exceptional research opportunities to WHOI scientists.
Laurence Madin, Institute Director