UC MARINE COUNCIL PICKS SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY STUDENTS FOR RESEARCH AWARDS
New high-tech tool used to study marine life in coastal environmental program
Images available upon request
Graduate students Bonnie Becker and Joel Fodrie of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, have received research awards from the University of California Marine Council. Each will receive $10,000 under the Coastal Environmental Quality Initiative (CEQI) program to use new high-tech instrumentation to study marine life.
In conjunction with the award, both students will use a device (a laser ablation unit tied to a magnetic sector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, or "LA-ICP MS") that allows high-resolution, fine-scale studies of marine animals.
Becker, a fourth-year doctoral candidate working with Professors Paul Dayton and Lisa Levin, will use the instrument to study the larval dispersal of intertidal invertebrates in a small marine reserve, the Cabrillo National Monument, off San Diego, Calif. Using chemical signals in larval mussel shells, she will differentiate juveniles that were spawned locally from those from other places. The goal is to determine the role of a large kelp forest just offshore on larval retention and transport. Ultimately, she would like to determine if the protected populations in Cabrillo are able to sustain themselves over multiple generations.
Fodrie, a second-year student working with Levin, will use the CEQI grant to study the California halibut, an ecologically and economically important finfish. Fodrie will use the LA-ICP MS to study the fish’s ear bones (called "otoliths") and identify key nursery habitats for juvenile California halibut. The research will aid in the implementation of marine reserves by highlighting the importance of nursery habitat types along California’s coastline.
Becker is a native of Roslyn, New York, while Fodrie is originally from Beaufort, North Carolina. Both students are in the biological oceanography curricular group at Scripps.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and graduate training in the world. The scientific scope of the institution has grown since its founding in 1903. A century of Scripps science has had an invaluable impact on oceanography, on understanding of the earth, and on society. More than 300 research programs are under way today in a wide range of scientific areas. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.
Now plunging boldly into the 21st century, Scripps will celebrate its centennial in 2003.