Michelle Jungbluth completed a M.S. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in December 2012. During that time she developed a novel DNA-based method to identify and quantify early life stages of copepods (nauplii) in mixed plankton samples. Michelle is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the same field, aimed at understanding the role of copepod nauplii in marine pelagic food webs. She is using the method developed during her Master’s degree to study the copepod population response to environmental perturbations in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Michelle has spent over 80 cumulative days on a small boat in Kaneohe Bay collecting plankton samples, sometimes chasing storms. She has also logged 26 days at sea as a volunteer on the R/V Atlantis off the coast of Oregon and R/V Kilo Moana in offshore Hawaiian waters and Station ALOHA.
On the current cruise Michelle will be investigating the role of nauplii as prey to the abundant, predatory cyclopoid copepods at Station ALOHA. Very little information is available on the ecology of the copepod nauplii or of the dominant cyclopoid copepods in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. N