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Biological oceanography

Biological fluid dynamicsThe physics of the ocean strongly influences the evolution of biological communities. Phytoplankton and zooplankton are ubiquitous in the ocean. They are very important because of their role in the global carbon cycle and also because they lie at the base of most oceanic food webs. The need to model these organisms and predict their evolution is of great importance. Early ecological models included each of the phytoplankton and zooplankton into one variable. This simplifies the calculations in that one only needs to account for the total mass of each plankton category. We have worked to develop a size-structured model that allows for size variations and also to include time delays into the equation to account for the fact that the transfer of nitrogen is not instantaneous.  We are also working towards coupling the biology and the physics to better understand how they interact.