Episode 46

Marine Plankton

David Johns

Jun 15, 2021 | Science

In this episode, UK-based plankton ecologist, David Johns joins me to talk about marine plankton, and the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey!

Listen on Spotify

About This Episode

Ever wonder how, and why, we research microscopic life in our oceans? In this episode, I speak with plankton ecologist, and head of the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey about marine life, research, and more!

Visit the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey: https://www.cprsurvey.org/

Follow David on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidGJOHNS1

Topics and Timestamps

  • (0:00:26) Plymouth, England.
  • (0:02:07) Publication and reputation over a PhD in the UK.
  • (0:04:56) What are plankton? Phyto and Zoo.
  • (0:06:27) Zooplankton: Starting small.
  • (0:08:35) Microscopic crustaceans: It’s all relative. 
  • (0:09:23) Copepods: A keystone species.
  • (0:10:30) Key species: Playing a pivotal role.
  • (0:11:54) Phytoplankton: Diatoms and Dinoflagellates.
  • (0:13:29) Changing seasons and how it affects populations.
  • (0:15:44) Marine Tardigrades.
  • (0:17:02) What is the best way to sample marine plankton communities?
  • (0:18:00) Microscopic Jellyfish and CPR Samples.
  • (0:19:00) Why study the microscopic? The canary in the coal mine.
  • (0:20:56) Moving North: The changing latitudes of plankton populations.
  • (0:21:30) Calanus Finmarchicus and Calanus Helgolandicus.
  • (0:23:16) The Global Association of CPR Surveys.
  • (0:25:30) The origin of the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey.
  • (0:27:21) Plankton and changing water colours.
  • (0:29:25) Red tides, toxic blooms and the Environmental Agency.
  • (0:32:39) Ships of opportunity: How the CPR runs.
  • (0:35:45) The CPR design.
  • (0:36:40) Holographic 3D imaging and upcoming changes.
  • (0:37:34) Data collection: Getting more accurate positioning in the future.
  • (0:38:45) How far down does the CPR go?
  • (0:39:44) Testing the plankton of the deep.
  • (0:40:48) Long term trends and changes: What the data is used for.
  • (0:42:56) CPR: High success, low errors. 
  • (0:44:32) Surprising results and the diatoms of the NorthWest Atlantic. 
  • (0:48:01) CPR: Free and available for everyone.
  • (0:49:09) The CPR Survey and scientific research in the UK.
  • (0:52:08) Hobbies and interests: Natural History and the outdoors.
  • (0:53:04) If you could go anywhere, when and where would you go?
  • (0:53:49) Observing the natural world around us.

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