The assessment and forecasting of anthropogenic effects in aquatic ecosystems is complicated by the fact that interactions between environmental variations and aquatic ecosystems occur at different spatial and temporal scales. Our ability to understand emerging processes that act across scales depends on our capacity to incorporate new exiting, and often interrelated observational, analysis, modeling, and simulation techniques.
Research conducted at the DGtal Aqua Lab integrates these techniques to contribute to the understanding of how individual biology, physiology, behavior, as well as demographic and evolutionary processes influence the dynamics of aquatic populations. We cover all aquatic ecosystems and pelagic organisms with a special focus on small crustaceans, i.e. copepods.
Copepods provide an exciting biological model. The interest in these organisms is motivated by their paramount importance in the global ecosystem, their quality as a bio-indicator of global change, and their peculiar biological traits—the understanding of which may help to elucidate basic biological mechanisms, including the evolutionary ones. At the same time, copepods are under strong selection pressures brought on by human alterations of the biotic and abiotic environment.
Research in the DGtal Aqua Lab is nevertheless not restrained to these organisms as we also study the response of phytoplankton, and necton to anthropogenic and climatic effects.