Research

My research group examines the molecular ecology and evolution of marine zooplankton, with a special focus on crustaceans. Rapid advances in molecular technologies are now being applied to non-model species, such as marine organisms, and are yielding critically-needed genomic and transcriptomic data. A recent paper from my group describes the exceptional nature of the genome of the Southern Ocean salp; this research is ongoing and will yield a definitive reference genome of this extraordinary species.

Another important focus for my group is the molecular analysis of pelagic biodiversity through DNA barcoding and metabarcoding.  We are examining diversity of the zooplankton assemblage, as well as revealing food web dynamics – and new pathways of who-eats-whom – in pelagic communities. We are using these molecular tools for an exciting collaborative project focused on the deep layers of the open ocean – called the Ocean Twilight Zone – where scientists expect to find unknown species and new insights into the functioning of ocean ecosystems (see https://twilightzone.whoi.edu/).

My research team members and I have participated in oceanographic field campaigns in many ocean basins; I have a special appreciation for the beauty and remaining mysteries of Arctic and Antarctic regions.

I am currently Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut. During 2004-2010, I was the lead scientist for a Census of Marine Life ocean realm field project, the Census of Marine Zooplankton (CMarZ), which sought to produce a global assessment of zooplankton diversity. I then chaired the ICES Working Group on Integrative Morphological and Molecular Taxonomy (WGIMT) during 2011-2017.

I an now leading a new SCOR Working Group (WG157): Toward a new global view of marine zooplankton biodiversity based on DNA metabarcoding and reference DNA sequence databases (MetaZooGene). You can find out more about MetaZooGene, including meetings, workshops, and training opportunities, at two project websites: SCOR WG homepage, https://scor-int.org/group/157/ and MetaZooGene web portal,  http://www.metazoogene.org/

I earned the PhD in Zoology from the University of California at Berkeley, with postdoctoral studies at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Marine Biological Association of the UK. I was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Norway (1992-1993) and was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement for Science (1995).

Please also see the Publications and Related Links sections.

The Laboratory

Prospective Students: We are located on the third floor of the Marine Sciences Building, University of Connecticut at Avery Point in Groton, CT. Contact information for current and recent students and staff is given in the People Section.

Prospective graduate students should contact Ann Bucklin directly. Students may consider applying for Oceanography Masters or Doctoral degree programs offered by the UConn Department of Marine Sciences.

Current Funded Research Projects

The Chukchi Borderlands: Exploration of pelagic life in a complex polar environment.  NOAA / Office of Exploration and Research: Lead PI R.R. Hopcroft (Univ. Alaska Fairbanks).

REU Site Mystic Aquarium: Investigating the consequences of global change on marine animals and their ecosystem. NSF / REU: Lead PIs M. Finiguerra (UConn) and T. Romano (Mystic Aquarium)

Genome assembly and analysis of the Southern Ocean salp, Salpa thompsoni. NSF / Polar Programs: Lead PI A. Bucklin (UConn); with R.J. O’Neill (UConn)

Ocean Twilight Zone. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Audacious Project): Lead PI H. Sosik (WHOI)

MetaZooGene: Toward a new global view of marine zooplankton biodiversity based on DNA metabarcoding and reference DNA sequence databases (SCOR Working Group 157). Scientific Committee for Ocean Research (2019-2022). See http://www.metazoogene.org/ and https://scor-int.org/group/157/