The 4-lecture series of Dr. Rudi Strickler, Spring 2003

Zooplankters at Their Spatial Scales

April 2, 2003, Wednesday, Latrobe 106, at 3:00 pm

The "Umwelt" of Zooplankters (10-4 to 10-2 m)

Jakob von Uexküll coined the term "Umwelt" around 1905 to describe the unique world that each species, even each individual, inhabits. We Examine the interrelationship planktonic animals have with their surrounding water volume, the volume in which their food is suspended.

April 4, 2003, Friday, Latrobe 107, at 3:00 pm (replaces Fluid Seminar)

Nano-technology in the Oceans (10-6 to 10-4 m)

Zooplankters perceive vibrations with less than 10 nm amplitudes and chemicals at single molecule levels. To catch food and handle it Necessitates information about the quality and quantity, as well as the locations, of food particles. Experiments at micro-scales reveal the motions and flow patterns involved (lots of videos).

April 7, 2003, Monday, Latrobe 106, at 3:00 pm

Food or Foe? "Foot-prints" in Fluids? (10-2 to 1 m)

Hensen (1887) suggested that zooplankters drift with the water, aimlessly. Our favorite hypothesis: Use of "Land Marks". Where are the "Land Marks" in the oceans? Physical heterogeneity, e.g. density layers, eddies, small-scale random water flow, shear sheets, and similar fluid mechanical phenomena. Chemical heterogeneity, e.g. clouds of chemicals, pheromones, metabolic by-products with low diffusion rates, and similar chemical phenomena. Visual heterogeneity, e.g. bio-luminescence, light signaling, unequal distribution of light, and similar visual phenomena.

April 9, 2003, Wednesday, Latrobe 106, 3:00 pm

Zooplankters, Turbulence, and the Oceans (10-6 to 106 m)

How does it help to know the miniscule in minute details? Biological oceanographers sail for thousands of miles trying to predict oceans event, the future of protein resources, the fate of global warming. Is there a parallel with physics where knowing the atomic details helps explaining the universe?