Current Research

Seasonal feeding, distributions and motility of Antarctic Krill (Euphasia superba)

Susanne-Krill-2a
attribution: smd/cynthia beth rubin

This project investigates the feeding and behavior of krill along the Antarctic Peninsula using a combination of acoustic, net and novel camera observation tools, paired with shipboard experiments and molecular analyses and is done with collaborators Durbin, Roman, Rynearson and Zhou at the University of Massachusetts. During 2 cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula, the scientists combined their scientific questions and methodological approaches to investigate how krill feeding changes over the seasons to determine the species varying roles in the Antarctic food web, particularly since that region is now a sentinel for climate change.

Camera

attribution:smd

We have collaborated with Chris Roman, URI to deploy an in situ imaging system to concurrently obtain the vertical distribution and movements of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba. Antarctic krill are a pivotal species in the Antarctic food web and subject to significant changes in seasonal ice cycles and temperature, due to climate change. Our project records krill in situ in their ambient habitat in large numbers (1000s of krill). Our direct observations contribute to understanding the activity and distribution of krill as a function of season as well as co-occurring biological (e.g. prey field) and environmental conditions. Mary Kane has completed her M.Sc. thesis on this work and her manuscript is forthcoming.