Plankton are the microscopic plants and animals at the base of the marine foodweb that produce half the oxygen we breathe and support most of the fish we consume. Despite nearly a century of research into the efficiency of marine foodwebs, there remain key unanswered questions about how some of the largest fisheries in the world such as those for tuna are supported in the vast nutrient-poor regions that have very little plankton. We will explore this conundrum by testing the general marine ecological theory that the length of food chains is critical to the amount and distribution of fish in different regions of the ocean. The general theory posits that short food chains are efficient at transferring energy from plankton to fish, as there is less energy loss through respiration compared with long food chains. This talk will explore how getting the zooplankton right in mathematical models of the marine foodweb is important for explaining the amount and distribution of fish in the ocean.

About Statistics, modelling and operations research seminars

Students, staff and visitors to UQ are welcome to attend our regular seminars.

The events are jointly run by our Operations research and Statistics and probability research groups.

The Statistics, modelling and operations research (SMOR) Seminar series seeks to celebrate and disseminate research and developments across the broad spectrum of quantitative sciences. The SMOR series provides a platform for communication of both theoretical and practical developments, as well as interdisciplinary topics relating to applied mathematics and statistics.


Priestley Building #67