Arctic Mid Ocean Ridge Expedition - AMORE 2001
Gakkel Ridge lies deep in the ocean (5000 m; 16,000 ft). It is located at the north end of the Atlantic Ocean, above the Arctic Circle. Graduate student Gabriela Vega worked with samples collected by Linda Kuhnz during the AMORE expedition. One of the surprising results of AMORE was evidence of abundant hydrothermal venting, despite the Gakkel being a slow spreading center. Gabriela identified the animals that were collected, and used taxonomic affinities and stable isotopic analysis to determine if they are likely to be ecologically linked to hydrothermal activity.
Antarctic Sewage Pollution Impact and Recovery Experiments - ASPIRE 2002-2004
ASPIRE is a three year NSF-funded project to examine the direct impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on Antarctic marine communities.The largest base on the continent, McMurdo Station, houses over 1100 people during the summer months, and until 2003, sewage was discharged directly into the ocean. We designed a large scale experiment that includes the sewage treatment plant to test the ecological changes due to organic enrichment, burial disturbance, and microbial growth, all factors intensified by human activities in the Antarctic.
Introduced Species Survey - ISS 2000-2012
ISS began in the fall of 2000 and continued until 2012 to determine the presence and relative abundance of introduced aquatic species in California. The ISS study determined the effects introduced species have on entire ecosystems because non-native species do not strictly affect a single niche, rather they effect entire ecosystems. The ISS study had three objectives in addition to the primary goal of determining the presence and relative abundance of California’s introduced species. The first objective was to fill in gaps in the knowledge of the extent of invasions in California’s coastal waters and embayments. The second objective was to determine subsequent ecological adaptations. The third objective was to determine trends in recruitment and succession caused by the invaders. Samples were taken from sites that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) identified as areas of potential invasion. These locations included bays, harbors and major ports, prominent headlands near shipping lanes, locations where ballast water exchange was likely, and entrainment areas where there is potential for increased introduced larval settlement. Many of these sites included locations that overlapped with historical datasets to allow change in species composition to be monitored over time. Field and laboratory studies were jointly conducted by OSPR and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.