Zooplankton

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Dr Laura Hobbs is a research scientist at the University of Strathclyde and the Scottish Association for Marine Science. She uses data from instruments, called echosounders, that use sound waves to monitor the depth and abundance of zooplankton in the Arctic Ocean. Studying copepods, her research has shown that during the polar winter these small organisms undertake massive vertical migrations down and up in the water column that show daily and monthly regularity.

These movements occur in seas and oceans throughout the world. They help the zooplankton to avoid predators and are known to be in response to daily changes in sunlight. In the polar winter the sun never rises above the horizon and Dr Hobbs’ research has shown that the zooplankton movements are in response to cyclical changes in moonlight.

Dr Hobbs’ work can be used as a context to look at the curriculum in 14-16 science and post-16 biology in the areas of:

  • feeding relationships
  • organisms and their environment
  • acoustics, sound and waves
  • data presentation and interpretation
  • working as a scientist

Laura Hobbs research

 

Laura Hobbs data and results

 

Laura Hobbs working scientifically

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