John Bruno has received a three-year 700K NSF Biological Oceanography award to expand his labs work on temperature, physiology, and metabolic scaling in the Galapagos Islands. Ocean critters including marine iguanas, sea turtles, fishes, and sea urchins consume seaweed in the Galapagos islands. Because the metabolism of these ectotherms is temperature-dependent, cooler upwelled water could reduce their caloric needs and thus the rate at which they consume their prey. Bruno will test the hypothesis that grazing intensity and the biomass of seaweeds is regulated by temperature via the temperature-dependence of metabolic rates. They will also test the hypothesis that grazer populations at warmer sites and/or during warmer seasons are less thermally sensitive, potentially due to acclimatization or adaptation. The grant includes funds to train undergraduate students in predicting the impacts of ocean warming on marine populations.

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