Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Charles Morgan III, Lyon College

Class Year: 
2008

Project Title: 

Using Lipid Biomarkers to Determine the Diet History of Euphausiids in the Bering Sea

Abstract: 

While it is known that krill are very important in the food web of the Bering Sea and that their transfer of lipids from organism to organism is paramount to a healthy ecosystem, it is unknown to what extent that this takes place. It was discovered that krill were eating phototrophic organisms by way of finding phytol, a chlorophyll breakdown product, in their bodies. It is also evident that the krill were eating assorted species of diatoms from the diatom-exclusive sterols found in the krill. While this work may have continued and produced more conclusive evidence, I was offered an opportunity to board a polar science research vessel manned by the United States Coast Guard in the Bering Sea. As this is a very valuable opportunity and not one to pass up, I accepted and spent the month of July performing genuine oceanographic field work with krill.