Abstract: Population connectivity is one of the criteria in the design of networks of MPAs. For marine benthic invertebrates, most of which are sessile or near sessile, larval transport is a significant driver of population connectivity. However, the prediction of larval transport presents a major challenge because larvae cannot be tracked in the field. Our research measures larval behaviours in tractable laboratory experiments that can explain larval distributions observed in the field and can be included in biophysical models to predict larval transport.
Biography: Dr. Anna Metaxas is a Professor in Oceanography at Dalhousie University. She completed her BSc in Ecology at McGill University, her Msc in Oceanography at UBC, and her PhD in Marine Ecology at Dalhousie University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Florida and a postodoctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, before returning to Dalhousie. Her research focuses on the factors that regulate populations of benthic marine invertebrates, particularly early in their life history. She uses a combination of approaches, such as field sampling, laboratory experiments and mathematical modelling, to study organisms of ecological and economic importance, such as invasive species. She has worked in a variety of habitats from shallow rocky subtidal regions to the deep-sea, including hydrothermal vents and deep-water corals, in temperate and tropical regions of the world. Her research has implications for marine conservation, such as the establishment and success of conservation areas for benthic populations. She has served on several national and international steering and scientific advisory com¬mittees (e.g. Canadian Healthy Oceans Network, COML-ChEss, Ridge 2000, Endeavour MPA, InterRidge, Excellence Cluster Future Ocean) and is currently the chair of the Population Connectivity working group of INDEEP (International network for scientific investigation of deep-sea ecosystems) and the co-director of the Transatlantic Ocean System and Technology graduate program. All of these initiatives have as an ultimate goal the translation of scientific outcomes into information that is relevant to policy.