New laser-imaging technology elucidates form, function, and ecological impact of deep sea, giant larvacean mucus houses -May 9th

Kakani Katija, MBARI

Moss Landing Marine Labs Seminar Series - May 9th, 2019

Hosted by the Ichthyology Lab

MLML Seminar Room, 4pm

Open to the public

Kakani received her PhD in Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology and specializes in biological fluid mechanics and in situ imaging methods. She is currently a Principal Engineer and Principal Investigator at MBARI, with funding provided by the Packard Foundation, National Geographic Society, NOAA, and NSF-OTIC/IDBR. Kakani has been named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2011 and a Kavli Research Fellow in the National Academy of Sciences in 2013.


The midwater region of the ocean (below the euphotic zone and above the benthos) is one of the largest ecosystems on our planet, yet remains one of the least explored. Little-known marine organisms that inhabit midwater have developed life strategies that contribute to their evolutionary success, and may inspire engineering solutions for societally relevant challenges. Although significant advances in underwater vehicle technologies have improved access to midwater, small-scale, in situ fluid mechanics measurement methods that seek to quantify the interactions that midwater organisms have with their physical environment are lacking. Here we present DeepPIV, an instrumentation package affixed to a remotely operated vehicle that quantifies fluid motions from the surface of the ocean down to 4000 m depths. Utilizing ambient suspended particulate, fluid-structure interactions are evaluated on a range of marine organisms in midwater (and the benthos). Initial science targets include larvaceans, biological equivalents of flapping flexible foils, that create mucus houses to filter food. Little is known about the structure of these mucus houses and the function they play in selectively filtering particles, and these dynamics can serve as particle-mucus models for human health. Using DeepPIV, we reveal the complex structures and flows generated within larvacean mucus houses, and elucidate how these structures function. Future technologies (currently in the development pipeline) that will enable study of organismal ecomechanics in the deep sea will also be discussed.



Perspectives on an urban wetland: Berrys Creek, New Jersey- January 24th

Craig Jones, Integral Consulting Inc.

Moss Landing Marine Labs Seminar Series - January 24th, 2019

Hosted by the Geological Oceanography Lab

MLML Seminar Room, 4pm

Open to the public

Dr. Craig Jones is a principal ocean and environmental engineer with 20 years of experience in developing and executing engineering and science projects for government agencies and the private sector to characterize offshore environmental sites. His experience includes riverine, lacustrine, estuarine, and coastal processes involving hydrodynamics, waves, sediment, and contaminant transport. Dr. Jones’ expertise includes the application of state-of-the-science field measurements and modeling analysis to characterize and quantify processes in all aquatic systems. He actively participates in the design of field activities and instrumentation to develop data sets in support of clients’ needs. Dr. Jones is adept at incorporating these data into the most effective levels of analysis, from empirical to numerical modeling, necessary to efficiently address the project needs.

Sediment and contaminant transport in urban wetlands is a complex problem requiring robust tools to characterize. Berry’s Creek in New Jersey is an urban wetland that has undergone a multitude of changes over the past century, many of which resulted in contamination posing unacceptable ecosystem risk. The presentation will outline the field and modeling studies related to the risk assessment and remedial investigation of the Berry’s Creek Study Area wetland. The study goals were to characterize the fate and transport of sediment-bound contaminants in the system. These perspectives are being used to develop remedial strategies that will help reduce the overall risk.

Watch Craig’s MLML Seminar Presentation Below: