Jacqueline Maud

Project Description

Understanding the response of zooplankton to changing ocean conditions requires detailed knowledge of their feeding biology, however, this knowledge has traditionally been extremely difficult to attain due to the challenges associated with identifying and quantifying zooplankton prey (e.g., small organism size, destruction of soft-bodied prey items in the gut, methods of limited taxonomic scope). DNA based methods, which can identify trace amounts of prey in zooplankton guts, circumvent these problems and offer to significantly improve understanding of lower trophic level interactions. I will be applying high-throughput DNA sequencing approaches to resolve zooplankton feeding biology and food web linkages. This project will be supported by weekly to fortnightly field collections of plankton food web components (bacteria, protists and micro / mesozooplankton). I may also be performing controlled feeding experiments. The findings of this project are expected to contribute directly to the development of lower trophic level food web models for the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia. 

Research Interests

zooplankton ecology
plankton trophodynamics
climate change impacts
food web interactions
zooplankton mortality
plankton population dynamics