Diana Varela from University of Victoria will give a talk about her research on phytoplankton.
The Highs and Lows of Primary Production in Arctic and Sub-Arctic Oceans
Dr. Diana Varela is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria in western Canada. Her research interests are centered on understanding variations in marine primary production and the links between phytoplankton (mainly diatom) physiology and nutrient cycling in the world’s ocean. Her group works from the cellular level involving phytoplankton cultures to the ecological level in natural communities, and on to a much broader oceanographic scale using natural isotopes as tracers of marine biogeochemical processes.
During this talk, Dr. Varela will address spatial and temporal patterns in phytoplankton production and nutrient concentrations in the Arctic and sub-Arctic marine waters surrounding North America. Results from International Polar Year and other research projects (e.g. GEOTRACES, Distributed Biological Observatory) conducted during the last decade show that phytoplankton production in marine Arctic waters is highly variable from region to region, with hotspots of activity in the Chukchi Sea, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Baffin Bay. These high production sectors markedly contrast with the oligotrophic waters of the Canada Basin. Dr. Varela will zoom into those Arctic hotspots and describe the role of diatoms in phytoplankton production and nutrient cycling in the pan-Canadian Arctic from the sub-Arctic Pacific to the sub-Arctic Atlantic Oceans.