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Spivak mesocosm lab

The Great Outdoors

WHOI assistant scientist Amanda Spivak recently designed a new open-air Mesocosm Lab that can replicate various natural marine ecosystems, from shallow pelagic to benthic habitats. This permits her to study delicate animal and plant communities in a way that is more similar to their natural environment than an indoor lab and more controlled than the field. Filtered seawater from Martha’s Vineyard Sound passes through 1,500 feet of pipeline to tanks that can simulate waves, rising tides, or coastal currents. The system also allows scientists to collect data in real time to better understand how natural ecosytems function over a range of timescales. (Photo by Daniel Cojanu, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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