CEE Seminar: Linking High-frequency Variability and Fine-scale Spatial Gradients in Coastal Ecosystems (from a Coral Reefs Perspective)

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium
Kristen Davis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
UC Irvine

Abstract: One of the major challenges in understanding physiological and ecological processes is quantifying physical and biological patterns at appropriate spatiotemporal scales. Here, we examine physical processes shaping environmental gradients on the inner shelf and nearshore coastal ocean using a distributed temperature sensing (DTS) system. A DTS system measures temperature continuously along the length of an optical fiber, resolving meter-to-kilometer spatial scales at one-minute temporal resolution. This unique view of cross-shelf temperature structure allows us to characterize the landscape of temperature variability in benthic coastal environments.

Bio: Kristen Davis is an assistant professor of civil & environmental engineering at UC Irvine. She is a physical oceanographer who is interested in studying mechanisms driving the transport and mixing of heat, nutrients and planktonic organisms in coastal and estuarine systems and influences on coastal ecosystems. Kristen earned a doctorate in civil & environmental engineering at Stanford University in 2009 and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington. Her recent research is focused on understanding nonlinear internal wave dynamics in the nearshore and physical processes creating environmental gradients in coastal ecosystems.