Biological Oceanography

Copepod on algae

Biological oceanography is concerned with the role of estuarine and marine organisms in biogeochemical processes and food web dynamics. At Horn Point Laboratory, we have a large, integrated group specializing in the study of bacteria, phytoplankton, protistan microzooplankton, zooplankton, seagrasses, marsh plants, and bivalves. Horn Point scientists are leaders in their respective fields, but as a group, our strength lies in collaborative studies organized around central research themes such as food web ecology & modeling, harmful algal blooms, seagrass bed and marshland ecology, and the impacts of eutrophication.

Our research extends from analysis of intracellular molecular processes to watershed-scale ecosystem studies using an array of techniques including molecular and phylogenetic analysis of biomarkers, cultivation and examination of organisms, experimental mesocosms and eco-flumes, field and ship-based observation and experimentation, automated sampling and observing systems, GIS, and modeling. We work in environments located all around the world, however much of our effort is focused on the Chesapeake Bay, its watershed, and the mid-Atlantic coastal ocean.

Specialized research programs are in: