The National Science Foundation has awarded Dr. Jefferson Turner $461,615 for the collaborative research project “Shelfbreak Frontal Dynamics: Mechanisms of Upwelling, Net Community Production, and Ecological Implications.” In collaboration with scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Wellesley College, and Dr. Christian Petitpas of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, Turner is conducting research on plankton dynamics at the continental shelfbreak.
Research on the Middle Atlantic Bight
The continental shelfbreak of the Middle Atlantic Bight spans from New England to North Carolina. Research suggests that productivity there is driven by upwelling, which supplies nutrients that stimulate the growth of microscopic plants (phytoplankton). Microscopic animals (zooplankton) graze on the phytoplankton. Turner’s research examines how much phytoplankton is consumed by zooplankton.
NOAA Sea Grant
Additionally, NOAA Sea Grant has awarded Turner $167,991 for the project “Harmful Phytoplankton Blooms in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts,” investigating algal blooms that may be toxic to marine life and humans. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, in a contract through Battelle Memorial Institute, has also awarded Turner $50,100 for an analysis of zooplankton communities in relation to wastewater discharge in Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay.
About Jefferson Turner
Turner’s research includes long-term monitoring of plankton communities in relation to water quality and environmental factors in Buzzards Bay, Boston Harbor, and Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. He earned a BS in Biology in 1969 from Guilford College, an MA in Marine Science in 1972 from the University of South Florida, and a PhD in Oceanography in 1977 from Texas A&M University.