The interactions between the physical environment and zooplankton population structure, behavior (e.g., diel vertical migration), and biology (vital rates such as growth, feeding, and reproduction) ultimately determine the observed distributions of zooplankton species. My research focuses on a variety of problems in biological oceanography and zooplankton ecology and particularly on how physical and biological processes together define zooplankton biogeography, structuring of zooplankton communities and populations, zooplankton population abundance, and the transformation of organic material. Much of my research has concentrated on zooplankton distributions in regions with significant advection or physical forcing, such as the Gulf Stream, California Current, Japan Sea, and Arabian Sea. A special focus for me is the ecology of zooplankton in polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic), particularly since these ecosystems may be significantly impacted by climate change.
The current challenge to biological oceanographers is to develop methods and instruments that describe adequately the distributions of organisms in the ocean and the associated advective field. I utilize both new technologies (acoustic and video instruments) and traditional techniques (net sampling, individual animal biology) in my research. Video and acoustic techniques permit us to examine both the physical properties and zooplankton distributions at the same temporal and spatial resolution and from the same water.