Last week saw the first ever Deep Sea Biology Symposium held completely online, and was the first opportunity for Krista Scheuerman (MS Student) to present a poster on her thesis topic, which is examining the importance of taxonomic resolution (i.e., whether we ID an animal to species, genus or family) in producing consistent results through community analyses. Given how much time and expertise is needed to ID mesopelagic fishes to species level, we're hoping that this work will ultimately be informative to resource managers and researchers to identify where future monitoring efforts should be focussed, given limited resources.
I also presented my first online-only conference talk, describing some of our findings on diel vertical migration patterns in the Gulf of Mexico and how they appear to be influenced in highly consistent ways by water mass structure. We're working this up for publication at the moment, but I'm hopeful that this work will help inform estimates of carbon flux through the water column and help us better understand and predict the role that mesopelagic fishes play in carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation.
If you'd like more information on any of the work we're doing in my lab right now, please feel free to reach out to me (Zan) at: R.Milligan@nova.edu