Dr Stephanie Wilson

Photograph of Dr Stephanie Wilson


I completed my Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science in 2009 studying the feeding ecology of mesopelagic zooplankton in the North Pacific Ocean. Upon completion of my dissertation, I moved to Moss Landing, California to work at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute as a postdoctoral fellow. There I investigated the contribution zooplankton make to the flux of organic carbon in the abyssal plain region of the deep-sea and compared these results to several climate indices as well as surface zooplankton abundances in the same region. I then completed two short postdocs at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA and Arizona State University and I am currently working on collaborative research project with both institutions. I recently joined the School of Ocean Sciences in June 2011.

Research Interests

Zooplankton are important contributors to ocean processes as they are a source of food for many marine animals and themselves graze microzooplankton, phytoplankton, and marine snow. In the upper layers of the ocean, zooplankton can repackage these particles into quickly sinking fecal pellets which are then either reprocessed by bacteria and other zooplankton while sinking or are sequestered in the deep sea as part of a process called the biological carbon pump. The focus of my research is zooplankton ecology and zooplankton impacts on particle repackaging and contribution to the biological pump as well as the impacts of climate change on zooplankton distribution, abundance, biomass, and carbon flux through the deep sea. I have experience working with measuring zooplankton distribution, abundance, biomass, feeding ecology, and fecal pellet production rates and fluxes in several locations around the world. Currently I am investigating the feeding ecology and fecal pellet production rates of zooplankton collected from the highly productive Amundsen Sea Polynya in the Antarctic as well as from the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site in the Sargasso Sea. For these projects I will be using fatty acid trophic markers, epifluorescence microscopy, and DNA-based molecular techniques such as PCR and Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) to determine the cyanobacteria and eukaryotic composition of their diets.


Peer Reviewed Journal Papers

Wilson, Stephanie E., Rasmus Swalethorp, Sanne Kjellerup, Megan A. Wolverton, Hugh W. Ducklow, Patricia L.Yager (2015)
Meso- and macro-zooplankton community structure of the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica (Summer 2010-2011). Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. DOI 10.12952/journal.elementa.000033

Wilson S.E., Ruhl H.A., Smith K.L., 2013
Seasonal and interannual contribution of zooplankton fecal pellets to carbon flux in the abyssal northeast Pacific. Limnology and Oceanography, 58(3) 881-892

S.E. Wilson, D.K. Steinberg, (2010).
Autotrophic pico- and nanoplankton in zooplankton guts: Evidence of aggregate feeding in the mesopelagic zone and export of small phytoplankton. Marine Ecology Progress Series

S.E. Wilson, D.K. Steinberg, F.L. Chu, J.K.B. Bishop (2010).
Characterization of zooplankton diet and particle feeding in the mesopelagic zone with fatty acid biomarkers. Deep-Sea Research I

C.H. Lamborg, K.O. Buesseler, J. Valdes, C.H. Bertrand, R. Bidigare S. Manganini, S. Pike, D. Steinberg, T. Trull, S.E. Wilson (2008).
The Flux of Bio- and Lithogenic Material Associated with Sinking Particles in the Mesopelagic "Twilight Zone" of the Northwest and North Central Pacific Ocean. Deep-Sea Research II. 55(14-15):1540-1563

D.K. Steinberg, J.S. Cope, S.E. Wilson, T. Kobari (2008).
A comparison of mesopelagic zooplankton community structure in the subtropical and subarctic Pacific Ocean. Deep-Sea Research II. 55(14-15):1615-1635

S.E. Wilson, D.K. Steinberg, K.O. Buesseler (2008).
Changes in fecal pellet characteristics with depth as indicators of zooplankton repackaging of particles in the mesopelagic zone. Deep-Sea Research II. 55(14-15):1636-1647

Buesseler, K.O., C.H. Lamborg, P.W. Boyd, P.J. Lam, T.W. Trull, R.R. Bidigare, J.K.B. Bishop, K.L. Casciotti, F. Dehairs, M. Elskens, M. Honda, D.M. Karl, D. Siegel, M.W. Silver, D.K. Steinberg, J. Valdes, B. Van Mooy and S.E. Wilson (2007).
Revisiting Carbon Flux through the Ocean's Twilight Zone. Science, 316 (5824): 567-470

PDF copies of some of these publications are available (as indicated by hyperlinks in the list) for non-commercial research and educational purposes only. You may not use the material for commercial purposes or make multiple copies without requesting permission from the copyright holder (usually the book or journal publisher).