Zooplankton are the linchpin of the marine ecosystem, serving as the main energy pathway from phytoplankton to fish. However, despite their critical role, zooplankton are simplistically represented or ignored altogether in current marine ecosystem models, with the most common assumption being that the zooplankton community does not change across environmental gradients. Recent developments in functional size spectrum modelling, which allow organisms to be resolved based on traits such as body size and feeding behaviour, offer a promising way forward to improving the resolution of the zooplankton. I developed a functional size-spectrum model of the marine ecosystem, which resolves the body size ranges, size-based feeding characteristics and carbon content of nine of the most abundant zooplankton groups (heterotrophic flagellates and ciliates, larvaceans, omnivorous and carnivorous copepods, chaetognaths, euphausiids, salps and jellyfish). The model is run across the global ocean, allowing the zooplankton community to emerge based on their traits and the environment. I identify shifts in zooplankton community composition across global environmental gradients, which agree with empirical observation. I use the model to explore how changes in zooplankton community composition affects ecosystem transfer efficiency from phytoplankton to fish.

About Applied and computational maths seminars

Our seminars bring together UQ's applied and computational mathematics communities.

UQ and invited scientists deliver the presentations, which are informal and promote discussion.

We welcome suggestions for speakers and topics from staff, students and visitors, and encourage students to share their work.

Our seminars are usually held on Thursdays from 3pm to 4pm.

To suggest a topic or speaker, and for more information, contact Dr Dietmar Oelz or Dr Cecilia Gonzalez Tokman.


Priestley Bldg #67