Featured Stories

First NSF RAPID Plankton paper published!

May 25, 2020

In a paper titled “Investigating seasonal succession patterns in mesozooplankton community structure following Hurricane Harvey” accepted last week for publication in Frontiers in Marine Science, doctoral student Zach Topor presented the first analysis of seasonal changes in northwest Gulf of Mexico mesozooplankton assemblage structure and abundance. A key contributor to the study’s Zoo Scan methods is former undergraduate RZL alumni Andrea Turcu, who is now a PhD student in Dr. Nic Kooyers’ Lab. We thank the Stauffer, Geist, and Schnezter Labs for their help in the field and Drs. Beth Stauffer and James Nelson for their insights which markedly improved the work.

10 Ways Microscopic Ocean Animals Are Fascinating: a LUMCON Science talk

May 7, 2020 
Close-up of an arrow worm (Phylum Chaetognath) head spines, which are tipped with zinc. A minature Ocean Wolverine!

In a bucket of seawater there are tens to hundreds of microscopic, drifting animals called zooplankton. These small wanderers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and taxonomic diversity. Some flit through the water on ethereal wings like a hummingbird while others dart at incredible speeds (1000 body lengths per second!) through a molasses-like liquid. Zooplankton are amazing in so many ways; not to mention how some of them grow up to be delicious food (crab cakes anyone?). Join a virtual exploration of how these microscopic, ocean monsters are among the most fascinating animals on Earth. Watch the recording by clicking the YouTube Video below.