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Marine Sciences Faculty
Marine Sciences

Dr. Monty Graham
Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Sciences
Senior Marine Scientist, Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Ph.D., 1994, University of California, Santa Cruz

Research Description:
My research program is broadly aimed at processes that influence the production and distribution of coastal marine plankton. The principal area of research that I am involved with is the ecology and biology of gelatinous zooplankton.

Current research activities in this area are related to the potential response of gelatinous zooplankton predators to short-term (i.e., seasons) and long-term (i.e., years) changes in nutrient inputs from watersheds adjacent to the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Four main areas of activity include:

1.Feeding, growth and metabolism of jellies that utilize patchily distributed prey,
2.Reproduction and fertilization dynamics of jellies,
3.Behavioral adaptations that act to optimize growth and reproduction of jellies, and
4.Ecology of invasive jellies.

A second area of research interest is the ecology of marine snow - large detrital particles responsible for the rapid transport of organic and inorganic material from the sea surface to the sea floor.

Current research interests in this area include:

1. Biotic and abiotic factors controlling the production and sinking of marine snow in coastal environments
2. In situ estimation of marine snow production over small spatial and temporal scales.

A third area of research interest is ecosystem-level linkage between estuaries and the coastal ocean. Specifically, I am interested in the role estuarine zooplankton play in controlling the exchange of nutrients and energy between estuaries and the continental shelf.

My research program is maintained at the coastal facilities of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab; though, I currently collaborate with researchers in several other states and countries.

In addition to the 'common resources' of DISL (e.g., vessels, computer facilities, analytical laboratories, an inverted microscope, spectroflurophotometer and general wet laboratory space), my laboratory has specialized analytical instruments used for the measurement of lipid, a variety of dissecting and epifluorescence microscopes, and multi-port respirometry apparatus.

Our wet laboratory has a culturing facility to rear zooplankton for use in feeding experiments, and I have 20 large and small closed circulation tanks designed specifically for the culture/experimentation of gelatinous zooplankton.

I also have a towed/profiling digital video system for the in situ study of gelatinous zooplankton in shallow coastal ecosystems, a variety of plankton nets, and large mesocosm enclosures for studying feeding dynamics of large jellies under 'natural' ocean conditions.

Graham, W. M.
, D. L. Martin, D. L. Felder, V. L. Asper and H. M. Perry (In Press) Ecological and economic implications of the tropical jellyfish invader, Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld, in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions.

Graham, W. M. (In Press). Carnivorous jellyfish. In S. Mackinson, T. A. Okey and B. Mahmoudi (eds.) A preliminary model of the west Florida shelf food web for use in ecosystem-based fisheries management and research. Florida Marine Research Publications, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Marine Research Institute, St. Peteresburg.

Shipe, R. F. , U. Passow, M. A. Brzezinski, W. M. Graham, D. K. Pak, D. A. Siegel and A. L. Aldredge. (In Press). Effects of the 1997-98 El Nino on seasonal variations in suspended and sinking particles in the Santa Barbara Basin. Progress in Oceanography.

Graham, W. M., J. E. Purcell (2001). Introduction: Social, economic and ecological issues involving jellyfish blooms. In J. E. Purcell, W. M. Graham and H. J. Dumont (eds.) Jellyfish Blooms: Ecological and Societal Importance. Kluwer Academic. 334pp.

Graham, W. M. (2001). Numerical increases and distributional shifts of Chrysaora quinquecirrha (Desor) and Aurelia aurita (Linne) (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Hydrobiologia 451:97-111.

Graham, W. M., F. Pages, and W. M. Hamner. (2001). A physical context for gelatinous zooplankgon aggregations: a review. Hydrobiologia 451:199-212.

Graham, W. M. and R. Kroutil. (2001). Size-based prey selectivity and dietary shifts in the jellyfish, Aurelia aurita. Journal of Plankton Research 23:67-74.

Purcell, J.E., D. L. Breitburg, M. B. Decker, W. M. Graham, M. J. Youngbluth, and K. Rastoff. (2001). Pelagic Cnidarians and Ctenophores in low dissolved oxygen environments. Effects of hypoxia on living resources, with emphasis on the northern Gulf of Mexico. In NN Rabalais and RE Turner (eds.), pp. 77-100. American Geophysical Union.

Graham, W.M., S. MacIntyre and A.L. Alldredge. (2000) Diel patterns in the concentration of marine snow and particle flux in surface waters. Deep-Sea Research I. 47:367-395.

Graham, W.M. and J.L. Largier. 1997. Upwelling shadows as nearshore retention sites: the example of northern Monterey Bay. Continental Shelf Research. 17: 509-532.

Lenarz, W.H., D. VenTresca, W.M. Graham and F.B. Schwing. 1995. Explorations of El Ninos and associated biological population dynamics of central California. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Reports 36: 106-119.

Graham, W.M. 1993. Spatio-temporal scale assessment of an "upwelling shadow" in northern Monterey Bay, California. Estuaries. 16: 83-91.

Graham, W.M., J.G. Field, D.C. Potts. 1992. Persistent "upwelling shadows" and their influence on zooplankton distributions. Marine Biology. 114: 561-570.

Shanks, A.L. and W.M. Graham. 1987. Oriented swimming in the jellyfish Stomolophus meleagris L. Agassiz (Scyphozoan: Rhizostomida). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 108(2): 159-170.

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October 26, 2004