College of Science

Department of Marine Science

seasurface models
Dr Palacios and student

Biological Oceanography Lab

The objectives of the Biological Oceanography Lab are to use remote sensing and in situ observations and models to track carbon flow through ecosystems, understand the ocean carbon budget, and monitor for harmful algal blooms in marine and freshwater systems. Researchers in the lab use remote sensing and modeling tools to build bio-optical models and apply them to ocean imagery to 1) understand water quality in estuarine and coastal systems, 2) identify and track water masses in coastal environments including river plumes and harmful algal blooms (HABs), and 3) to discriminate phytoplankton functional types to understand phytoplankton biodiversity. There are field-going, laboratory, and computational components to the work in the lab, with a heavy emphasis on bio-optical algorithm development and numerical modeling.

Current Research Projects

  • Bio-optical algorithm development for phytoplankton community structure of biofilm species growing on the mudflats of San Francisco Bay
  • Phytoplankton functional type algorithm development for hyperspectral and multispectral ocean color observations
  • Estimating "food from space", or remote sensing observations of nutritional quality of phytoplankton to their grazers
  • Education through authentic research experience using NASA Earth observations for applied science questions