Earlier this month, members of the MIT Darwin project hosted Benedetto Barone (U Hawaii) and Kate Evans (U Montana) for a week of face-to-face collaboration focused on advancing theory and modeling efforts geared towards exploring mesoscale and submesoscale marine ecological structure in the Subtropical North Pacific.
Benedetto Barone is the leader of the SCOPE (Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology) project’s Microbial Ecology of the Surface Ocean (MESO) component: MESO-SCOPE. He has been Chief Scientist or participant in several of the SCOPE expeditions which have targeted the mesoscale and submesoscale in the ocean near Hawaii. He has also extensively explored the historical record at Station ALOHA. The 2017 MESO-SCOPE cruise collected oceanographic observations in the region north of the Hawaiian Islands with the aim of identifying the impact of mesoscale eddies on the ecosystem of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Targeting mesoscale dipoles north of the island of Oahu the project seeks to better understand 1) the horizontal variability in biogeochemical and ecological properties across eddy pairs; and 2) Lagrangian temporal dynamics in the eddy centers, with a particular focus on diel processes.
Kate Evans is a postdoc in Matt Church’s Microbial Biogeochemistry and Ecology Group. Mick Follows, Kate, and Chris Follett are charged with leading a MESO-SCOPE “theory and modeling” activity.
In-depth presentations by Barone (the observations) and Christopher Hill (MIT’s MITgcm/Darwin physical-ecological simulations), followed by further side meetings and small-group discussions throughout the week provided a rich opportunity for the MIT team (who are working on running and analyzing very high-resolution North Pacific physical-ecological simulations) to learn more about the observed system in the North Pacific Gyre and to think about how their experiments and/or other models and theory can be brought to bear in helping interpret or extrapolate the observations.
The group looks forward to a rich and fruitful collaboration after a week that culminated in multiple potential collaborative activities.