Current Research

LTER Network Modified

NES-LTER: A New Long Term Ecological Research Site on the Northeast US Shelf

The Atlantic Ocean off the Northeast U.S. coast is known for its productive fisheries, which may be threatened by human activities, short-term environmental variability, and long-term trends. To decipher the contributions of natural and anthropogenic forcings and manage this intricate ecosystem, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced the selection of this critical ocean region Read More …


Temperature dependence in heterotrophic protist growth and grazing rates

Grazing is the single largest loss factor of marine primary production and thus affects a key transfer rate between global organic and inorganic matter pools. Remarkably, data for herbivorous protist growth and grazing rates at temperatures representative of the vast polar regions and during winter and spring periods are extremely sparse. By combining laboratory experiments Read More …


North Atlantic Plankton Dynamics – contributing to NAAMES

The Menden-Deuer Lab gets to participate in a large, collaborative study resolving key processes controlling the abundance and distribution of phytoplankton in the North Atlantic and of course the ramifications of plankton dynamics for the coupled ocean ecosystem and atmosphere. We were funded to contribute rate measurements on the dynamics of phytoplankton growth and mortality Read More …


The causes and ramifications of intra- and inter specific plankton diversity

As is commonly observed, biology is permeated by variability. In our laboratory and field work, we are consistently puzzled by the high intra!-specific variability observed amongst clones obtained from one population. One aspect of our work is to quantify the degree of intra-specific variability and to distinguish it from the well known variation amongst species. Read More …


Effects of protistan herbivory on phytoplankton production

The goal of this research is to develop a mechanistic understanding and predictive capability of the relative importance of biological versus physical processes in driving the magnitude of predation pressure by heterotrophic protists (< 200 ┬Ám) on microphytoplankton. Recent work has focused on separating the relative role of temperature and potential prey species composition in Read More …