Biological Oceanography Group (BOG)

Francisco P. Chavez, Principal Investigator

Since 1989 our laboratory group at MBARI has used moorings, drifters, gliders, AUVs, ships, satellites and models to study ocean spatiotemporaly variability (ENSO, PDO, global warming) with emphases on phytoplankton, the California Current system, and platform and sensor development. In the navigation bar to the left, we provide evolving links to our people, projects, and products.  

Our group studies the biogeochemical response to climate and ocean variability. The data used in these investigation come from moorings, with novel instruments and telemetry, satellites and ships

Our studies include projects in Central California, the equatorial Pacific, and Peru.  Additionally we have participated on several NOAA cruises and the collaborative modeling project NOPP.  Visit  projects or roadmap for more information.

The primary questions we seek to answer are:

  1. What are the mean and fluctuating components of phytoplankton primary production, biomass and species composition on time scales ranging from days to years.
  2. What are the physical, chemical and biological processes responsible for the mean and fluctuating components.
  3. What controls primary production and phytoplankton growth rates.
  4. What is the role of meso and macrozooplankton in coastal upwelling systems.
  5. What is the fate of primary production?
  6. What are the biological consequences of El Niño.
Scanning electron microscope photo of phytoplankton from the North Atlantic Photograph of the M2 mooring being service.  M2 is located in Monterey Bay, CA USA Satellite image of ocean color, from SeaWiFs

Figure 1. Phytoplankton collected in 1994 from the N. Atlantic.
Figure 2. Maintenance day on the M2 Mooring
Figure 3 SeaWiFS satellite image from May 1998


If you have comments regarding the Biological Oceanography Group's web pages you are welcome to contact us through our group's webmaster, reiko at

Last updated: Aug. 19, 2014

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