As a marine molecular ecologist, I am fascinated by the complex ecosystems hidden under the sea surface, especially tiny organisms that make up the base of the marine food web. Recent advances in molecular biology and computational science have given ecologists a new toolbox to study ecosystems with higher magnification than ever before. In my research, I want to explore how we can best utilize these new tools to understand better how ecosystems work and how human activities interact with vital ecological processes. I got my Ph.D. from Stockholm University in Sweden, where I used DNA metabarcoding to study the diet of a variety of zooplankton and fish species in the Baltic Sea. When combining the dietary data with time series of zooplankton and phytoplankton, we were able to identify the main sources of primary production in the Baltic Sea food web.
Here at UBC, I will work with the Marine Food Webs Working Group of the Hakai Coastal Initiative to develop the molecular methods used to study zooplankton diversity of the coastal North Pacific. I will collaborate with the genomics laboratory at Quadra Island to ensure that key players in the pelagic community become represented in our genetic databases. I will then utilize these databases to study population dynamics of the diverse plankton communities in the Strait of Georgia. Hopefully, this will lead to a better understanding of how the base of the marine food web responds to changes in the coastal environment.