Marine Biology Seminar: Dr. Jennifer Prairie (University of San Diego)
"Small-scale dynamics affecting the role of marine snow in the ocean’s biological pump"
Abstract: Marine snow aggregates, which form in the surface ocean from phytoplankton, fecal pellets, and other organic and inorganic matter, play an important role in the ocean’s carbon cycle; these particles often dominate the export of particulate carbon and act as hot spots for bacterial activity. In this talk, I will be presenting work from several projects that have focused on experimentally investigating small-scale biological and physical dynamics relating to marine snow. First, I will discuss work on delayed settling of aggregates as they pass through sharp density gradients, and its implications for layer formation and carbon remineralization. Second, I will present the results of a recently published study on factors affecting aggregate formation. Lastly, I will describe ongoing work on zooplankton foraging on marine snow and its potential significance for larger-scale trophic dynamics and the biological pump