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James J. Pierson, Ph.D.

Zooplankton represent a link between primary producers (algae) and higher trophic levels such as commercially and ecologically important fish species.

To study zooplankton requires incorporation of various disciplines and sampling or experimenting across time and space scales. My work focuses on biological oceanography and zooplankton ecology, specifically:

  • Elucidating the factors controlling the trophic dynamics of zooplankton.
  • Quantifying how the life histories of zooplankton respond to multiple stressors, such as environmental and climatic variability.
  • Combining in situ observations with laboratory experiments and in silico simulations, to understand how individuals’ behaviors directly and indirectly affect population dynamics and structure.


A short movie of copepods swimming:



A plankton tow, from the perspective of the net:


James J. Pierson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

2020 Horns Point Rd.
Cambridge, MD 21613


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