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Food web interactions and contaminant transfer determine the flow of energy in the ocean and ultimately drive population dynamics, community structure, and most ecosystem processes. However, unpredictable and highly variable, changing environments can also affect how ecosystems interact.
Top predators like marine mammals, pelagic fishes, and seabirds are considered key components of marine communities and ecosystem functioning. Determining the role of all members of a food web provides insights into ecosystem stressors and potential adaptations to disruptions and changes throughout the marine ecosystem.
About Dr. Amy C Hirons:
Dr. Amy C. Hirons is an oceanographer at Nova Southeastern University specializing in food web dynamics and contaminant transfer. Her lab's conducts research from the Arctic to the tropics to the Antarctic. Some current projects include northern sea otters, Peruvian fur seals, and sea lions, South American penguins, Hawaiian monk seals, Florida manatees, Alaska beluga whales, pelagic fisheries, and coastal Alaska gray wolves.
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