Current Research

Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE) 

SCOPE-shield-draft4a_142px RESEARCH TEAM: SCOPE Investigators
2014 – 2019
PROJECT SUMMARY: SCOPE is a collaborative effort to advance our understanding of the biology, ecology and biogeochemistry of microbial processes in the oligotrophic North Pacific Ocean. SCOPE will conduct spatially and temporally resolved analyses of biological structure and function at the open ocean field site Station ALOHA, located in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Click here to learn more about our SCOPE research. Funding source: Simons Foundation.



DSC00738RESEARCH TEAM: C. Smith, J. Drazen, E. Vetter & M. Church (UH) and 7 national and international collaborators
PROJECT DATES: 2013 – 2015
PROJECT SUMMARY: As part of the international and multidisciplinary ABYSSLINE team, members of the Church Lab oversee baseline studies on the diversity and community structure of benthic and water column microorganisms in the eastern Clarion-Clipperton fracture zone (CCZ). Funding source: UKSRL.


Dimensions: Oligotrophic phytoplankton community response to changes in N substrates and the resulting impact on genetic, taxonomic and functional diversity

BIODIMENSIONRESEARCH TEAM: J. Zehr & Z. Kolber (UCSC), K. Arrigo & M. Mills (Stanford), M. Church (UH)
PROJECT DATES: 2013-2015
PROJECT SUMMARY: The overarching goal of this collaborative project is to investigate how different forms of nitrogen affect the metabolic and ecological interactions of different groups of phytoplankton in the oligotrophic open ocean. The project relies on cultivation-independent approaches to quantify the physiological and compositional responses of different members of the phytoplankton assemblage to different sources of nitrogen. By coupling transcriptomic and physiological analyses on the responses of phytoplankton communities to the availability of nitrate, ammonium, and urea, we seek to improve predictive understanding of how changes in the availability of key nutrient pools may impact phytoplankton dynamics in the open sea. Funding source: NSF.