This NSF-funded project investigates impact of climate-induced changes in the arctic physical environment on the timing of primary production and consequences of changing timing for an important zooplankton species. The project uses coupled biological-physical modeling techniques to simulate zooplankton transport in currents, life history development, and potential colonization in the Arctic Ocean. The summer undergraduate fellows will have opportunities in designing and implementing numerical experiments for understanding the interplay between the physical and biological processes and how the changing sea ice and primary production timing may influence the success or failure of the targeted species. Potential research questions include: (1) will zooplankton populations benefit from the paradigm shifts in physical environment (for instance, earlier ice retreat, longer open water period, and later freeze-up)? (2) How do changes in the timing of ice algal and pelagic phytoplankton blooms affect zooplankton reproduction, feeding, and life stage development? The successful candidates will join a dynamic team and work with zooplankton ecologists and biophysical modelers on the exciting arctic marine ecosystem studies. Prior experiences with hydrodynamic, ecosystem and individual-based modeling, and mathematical and computational skills (Matlab, Linux, and Fortran) are preferred but not mandatory.
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