Biological Oceanography

Biological oceanography is a sea-going interdisciplinary science that seeks to understand the life histories and population dynamics of marine organisms and how they interact with their chemical and physical environment over space, depth and time. The organisms of interest span from marine phytoplankton and microbes, zooplankton, marine invertebrates and fishes to benthic fauna and marine mammals. Biological oceanographers in EEMB conduct exciting research in diverse marine habitats and ecosystems throughout the world’s oceans spanning from open ocean oligotrophic gyres, to equatorial upwelling systems, to coastal upwelling systems, to coral reef system to high latitude continental shelf systems of the Arctic and Antarctic.

A key aspect of EEMB’s Biological Oceanographic research programs is to evaluate the role of phytoplankton, zooplankton and marine microbes in controlling and responding to large-scale biogeochemical cycles. Although we are focused on basic research questions, many studies are also applicable to applied problems and societal concerns of climate change, ocean acidification and fisheries recruitment. Our researcher utilized a variety of cutting edge approaches at sea and in the laboratory including shipboard samplers, SCUBA, molecular biology, remote sensing, microfluidics and mathematical modeling to understand the oceans and their inhabitants.



Biological oceanography; ecology of marine gelatinous plankton; marine particulate matter and marine snow, biogeochemical cycling.


Phytoplankton ecology and physiology; phytoplankton cell cycles; elemental cycling in surface ocean.


Dr. Carlson's research interests are shaped by an interdisciplinary blend of marine microbial ecology, microbiology and ocean biogeochemistry.


Ecological physiology of invertebrates and fishes; biological oceanography; physiology of deep-sea animals; metabolic adaptations of hydrothermal vent animals; chemoautotrophic endosymbioses.


Marine biogeochemistry, ocean acidification, phytoplankton ecophysiology, marine calcification, inorganic carbon chemistry, genomics, shot-gun proteomics, genetic diversity.


The Moeller Lab uses mathematics, experiments, and field observations to understand how metabolic interactions between species shape the structure and function of ecological communities.

Behavioral ecology, social organization, community ecology, eco-evolutionary dynamics.

Marine microbiology, microbial ecology, nitrogen cycling

Professor Siegel’s research focuses on aquatic ecosystems and their functioning using the tools of an applied physicist, radiative transfer and fluid mechanics.

LIzzy Wilbanks

I am interested how microbial interactions and tightly-coupled biogeochemical cycles drive the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of populations, with a current focus on the bacteria and archaea of marine aggregates and biofilms.