Population and stage specific thermal tolerance of Acartia tonsa

The thermal tolerance of a species is not uniform across populations or life history stages. Knowing the relationship between habitat, life history stage, and thermal tolerance is critical to understanding how a species will respond to global climate change. With this study, I assessed the upper lethal temperature of three copepod populations across larval, juvenile, and adult stages. Currently, I am using transcriptomics to examine molecular mechanisms underlying consistent differences in thermal tolerance seen across developmental stages.

Relationship between temperature and copepod abundance

Through my QuEST traineeship, I spent a summer interning with the Farallon Institute. During this internship, I used field collected copepod data and satellite temperature data to reveal determinants of copepod presence and abundance in the Northeast Pacific. In this study, we examined the relationship between three dominant, and characteristically divergent, copepod species and their thermal environment. This allowed us to identify potential impacts of warming sea water on the future abundance of these species in the Northeast Pacific.

Impacts of short and long-term warming on temperature and salinity tolerance

Acartia tonsa is a globally distributed estuarine copepod. However, the impact of climate change on A. tonsa resilience to regular temperature and salinity fluctuations is not known. I am conducting experiments to investigate the potential costs of adaptation of A. tonsa to elevated temperature. In these experiments I am looking at impacts of thermal adaptation on the upper lethal temperature and lower lethal salinity on adult copepods. Results from this research will allow for more accurate estimations of how this critically important species will respond to changing ocean conditions.