Environmental and Ecosystem Modeling Staff

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Andrew Leising
Research Oceanographer
Phone: (831) 648-5336
Fax: (831) 648-8440
E-mail: Andrew.Leising@noaa.gov

My research interests revolve around the question: how does environmental variability affect the population dynamics of lower trophic level marine organisms ? Lower trophic level organisms (often termed the plankton) are those organisms which form the base of the marine food web, such as unicellular algae (called phytoplankton) and the microscopic unicellular (protozoan) and multicellular (metazoan) grazers and predators, such as ciliates and copepods. In turn, these organisms are the food for many small but important pelagic fish, such as sardines and anchovies. Plankton are also an important food for the larval and juvenile of larger fish, such as salmon and hake. Therefore, understanding how environmental variability affects the plankton is a key to understanding the mechanisms by which climate change affects fisheries species and our living marine resources. Underlying this basic question are several sub-themes, such as: How do physical and biological temporal changes of the environment affect the ability of an organism to find food? How much does the role of physical change versus physiological adaptation affect the population dynamics of a species? How do changes in the timing of physical events affect the match-or mismatch between predators and prey supply?

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