Productivity and Ocean Color
Our working group consists mainly of phytoplankton ecologists who wish to understand the fundamental question: what controls phytoplankton growth and distribution in the ocean? More specifically, how do the multiple interactions of light, macro- and micronutrients and phytoplankton physiology determine the rates, processes, and patterns that we observe in the marine environment? Oceanography is rapidly moving away from observational science towards an understanding of underlying mechanistic processes at all scales, in part because of the wealth of revolutionary new technological and scientific advances such as access to ocean color data from satellite sensors. Our approach is to combine a suite of three tools:
(1) remotely sensed data from moorings and satellites in combination with biological models
(2) novel bio-optical methods assaying phytoplankton physiology
(3) the refinement of stable and radio-tracer isotopes.
By integrating these methods, we can begin to use ocean color to answer important ecological questions.
More about ocean color
More about phytoplankton ecology
More about CO2 analysis - the Kudela lab is now measuring carbon dioxide at the Santa Cruz Wharf! This is an exciting addition to existing observations of temperature, salinity, phytoplankton species, chlorophyll, nutrients, toxins, optical properties, and meteorology.
Tools, equipment and techniques