Projects Overview:

Most continental margins are dominated by sandy habitats. Although these areas are important for seafood production, investigations into the impact of geomorphological dynamics on the distribution and abundance of megafauna is deplete. Thus, the Navarro Lab aims to contribute findings to better describe these interactions for stakeholders that benefit from this information. Two projects on this topic are in progress:

(1) Geomorphology Drives Species Distribution: A Case Study on the Sandy Plains of the Continental Shelf

UPDATE! CLICK HERE FOR THE PROJECT REPORT OUTCOMES

(2) Impacts of Geomorphological Dynamics on Fishery Species Distribution of the NOrth Atlantic Continental Margin 

 

(1) Geomorphology Drives Species Distribution: A Case Study on the Sandy Plains of the Continental Shelf

Sandy plains constitute ~80% of the shelf in the north-eastern Pacific. In the Monterey Bay Region, USA, this study focuses on the seasonal dynamics of these "underwater beaches"  and how these changes are utilized by seafloor inhabitants. Methods used include acoustical (multibeam, side-scan sonar) and video surveys (remotely-operated vehicles, tow cameras and SCUBA). This research will measure structural aspects of the sandy plains both in terms of those caused/maintained by physical forcing and/or biological interactions (e.g. squid embryo beds).  Within the study region, the results of this study will define spatio-temporal scales at which geomorphological change occurs, the heterogeneity of the sandy plains ecosystem and will be used to test whether these geomorphological changes drive the megafaunal distribution patterns.

The study is sponsored by Dr. Corey Garza, California State University Monterey Bay, Division of Science and Environmental Policy, Marine Landscape Ecology Laboratory.  Funding for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation, Division of Ocean Sciences, Post-doctoral Research Fellowship Award #1421310. 

UPDATE! Click here for the project outcomes report.

Research team:

Jesirae Collins, Undergraduate Researcher, CSUMB UROC Scholar, Dean's List (S15, Sum15, F15, S16), Research title, "Rippled scour depressions (RSDs) and their impacts on a dominant marine organism of the continental shelf."

Nicole Barbour, Undergraduate Researcher, CSUMB UROC Scholar, Dean's List (S15, F15, S16, F16), Research title, "Spatial and temporal variability of a biological guild on the Monterey Bay sandy continental shelf during the 2015-2016 El Niño." 

Chelsea Burgess, Undergraduate Researcher, CSUMB REU Scholar (Sum15). Research title, "Novel bat star, Patiria miniata, habitat associations. "

Veronica Larwood, Undergraduate Researcher, NSF Research Technician (S15). Research title, "Laser-Video Quadrat - Simple Method for Rapid Data Acquisition Using SCUBA."

Madison Heard, Undergraduate Researcher (S15)

Principle Investigator: Dr. Michael Navarro, NSF Ocean Sciences Postdoc Research Fellow (2014-2017)

Project Sponsor: Dr. Corey Garza, Associate Professor CSUMB, Director of the Monterey Bay Regional Research Experiences for Undergraduates

 

(2) Impacts of Geomorphological Dynamics on Fishery Species Distribution of the NOrth Atlantic Continental Margin

Research from this project is in progress. Data were collected using the AUV Sentry, HOV Alvin and shipboard CTD profiles aboard the R/V Atlantis as part of the ten-day Early Career Scientist Deep Submergence Training Cruise (28 July-7 August 2016) involving 24 early career scientists and 5 program mentors. The cruise was funded by NSF OCE Award 1641453.