Faculty candidate seminar - Anela Choy

04/26/2017 - 11:00am
Eckart Lecture Hall 227
Event Description: 


DATE:          April 26th, Wednesday, 11am  

LOCATION:     Eckart Lecture Hall room 227
SPEAKER:      Anela Choy, Ph.D.
TITLE:          Tracing food web complexity and the fingerprints of man in the sea

Food webs, or networks of feeding interactions, encompass the overall flow of energy between resources and consumers in the ocean. Predictive understanding of how entire ecosystems respond to environmental change and anthropogenic pressure depends on quality empirical food web data. While stomach content analysis of marine consumers (principally fishes) has been widely exploited by marine ecologists as a primary data source, the method cannot adequately characterize feeding for all consumer types across different marine ecosystems. Here, I present a unique and targeted combination of efforts to describe the complex structure and function of open ocean ecosystems, which fill the largest living space on Earth. Specifically, I have merged a combination of traditional empirical tools like stomach content analysis and in situ observation, with more integrative tools, including a suite of biochemical tracers (bulk tissue and compound-specific stable isotopes, trace metals, and fatty acids) and ecosystem models. Through the balanced combination of these approaches we have yielded surprising new trophic knowledge about the vertical connectedness of pelagic ecosystems across vast epipelagic, mesopelagic, and bathypelagic depths. Furthermore, through my research I have discovered the fingerprints of human activities in throughout the deep sea and will present vignettes centered on plastic pollution and mercury cycling.
Faculty Host:  Farooq Azam  (fazam@ucsd.edu)
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