My research examines the molecular ecology and evolution of marine zooplankton, with a focus on crustaceans. DNA barcoding and metabarcoding are providing new insights into biodiversity, including detection and identification of rare and cryptic species, of the marine zooplankton assemblage. These molecular methods are also revealing food web dynamics – and new pathways of who-eats-whom – in pelagic communities. 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. An exciting collaborative project, the Ocean Twilight Zone https://twilightzone.whoi.edu/ is focused on the deep layers of the open ocean, where scientists expect to find unknown species and new insights into the functioning of ocean ecosystems.
I am currently Professor Emeritus of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut. During 2004-2010, I was the lead scientist for the Census of Marine Zooplankton (CMarZ, http://www.cmarz.org/), which sought to produce a global assessment of zooplankton diversity. During 2011-2017, I chaired a working group of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), Working Group on Integrative Morphological and Molecular Taxonomy (WGIMT). I now chair a Working Group of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR): Toward a new global view of marine zooplankton biodiversity (MetaZooGene, https://metazoogene.org/). In August 2023, I was appointed U.S. Academic Delegate to ICES (https://www.ices.dk). As one of two U.S. representatives, my goal is to encourage and coordinate ICES-related research and activities in the U.S. academic community.
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).
Current Funded Research Projects
Mesopelagic food webs: metabarcoding of fish and salp diets. Ocean Twilight Zone, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Audacious Project). See: https://twilightzone.whoi.edu. Lead P.I. Heidi Sosik (WHOI)
Molecular (metabarcoding) detection of invasive marine zooplankton species in the Gulf of Maine. Co-P.I.s A. Bucklin & P.G. Batta-Lona (UConn). Marine Biological Laboratory, LTER: Plum Island Ecosystems, Lead P.I. Anne Giblin (MBL)
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/