GLOBEC CALL FOR RESEARCH PROPOSALS CONCERNING THE EXPLOITATION OF BIOCHEMICAL AND MOLECULAR TECHNIQUES FOR GAUGING PHYSIOLOGICAL STATE OF MARINE ZOOPLANKTON
GLOBEC seeks to encourage the development of biochemical and molecular methods which can be used in laboratory and shipboard analysis of the physiological state of marine zooplankton. Methods are sought for obtaining accurate estimates of rates of metabolism, growth, reproduction, and physiological status--locomotory ability, dietary state, life stage, reproductive condition and morbidity--that can be applied to both invertebrates and fishes. The methods should be capable of assessing how changes in the environment, for example in seawater temperature, impact secondary production in different marine systems.
The rapid development of biochemical and molecular methods provides biological oceanographers with a rich potential for using new procedures to address long-standing questions about fundamental marine processes. Included among these are rates of secondary production and the characteristics of the organisms responsible for this production. Biochemical and molecular methods show potential for rapidly advancing our understanding of each of the following areas.
There is a dearth of biochemical and molecular data on most marine invertebrate zooplankters. The development of biochemical and molecular indicator methodologies must entail substantial initial characterization of the biochemistries and molecular biology of key species of invertebrate zooplankters like copepods. Study species should include organisms for which one or more life stages is apt to be strongly impacted by global warming.
Training Components of Research Proposals and Cross-Calibration Among Laboratories
The successful design and implementation of biochemical and molecular indicator methodologies for use with marine zooplankton will require training regimens for biological oceanographers not familiar with these methods. Investigators submitting proposals should address the issue of necessary training in their submissions. Because it is desirable that different workers employ biochemical and molecular methods that will allow cross-calibration of data sets, investigators are encouraged to consult with colleagues who plan to use similar approaches, perhaps with different species or in different marine environments. Proper design (e.g., using physiologically realistic in vitro measurement conditions) of protocols which can be standardized among laboratories will greatly facilitate the exploitation of biochemical and molecular indicator methods for addressing major questions concerning secondary production and the impact of environmental change on this production.