The Robinson Zooplankton Ecology Lab (RZL) focuses on coastal biological oceanography. We seek to understand how marine zooplankton populations respond to climate-related and anthropogenic perturbations, with an emphasis on gelatinous plankton predators (i.e. jellyfish). Specifically, how variability in biophysical features operating at a range of spatio-temporal scales affect abundance, distribution, and mediate predator-prey interactions.
Key questions include:
What is the long-term response of zooplankton production to climate forcing?
What are the biophysical drivers of fine-scale variation (i.e. ‘patchiness’) in zooplankton abundance? Do the effects of drivers vary with large-scale climate forcing?
How does climate-driven variation in plankton production affect food web energy transfer to upper level consumers (e.g., planktivorous fish) in coastal marine ecosystems?
To address questions related to this topic, I use a combination of experimental lab work, field studies, and modeling (including spatial analysis and food web modeling). I am particularly interested in applying novel technologies and approaches like plankton imaging systems and data science to marine ecology.