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Victoria Trejo

California State University, Chico

Research Mentor: Peter Gaube

Project: The Effect of Mesoscale Eddies on the Diversity of Mesopelagic Fish in the North Atlantic

My name is Victoria Trejo and I’m a senior at California State University, Chico studying Biology with a focus on Ecology, Evolution, and Organisms. This summer I had the incredible opportunity to work with Martin C. Arostegui and Peter Gaube from the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington to investigate how mesoscale eddies structure the diversity of mesopelagic fish in the North Atlantic.

Mesoscale eddies are large rotating bodies of water that can trap and transport marine ecosystems for thousands of kilometers allowing beneficial foraging opportunities for marine predators. Some of these marine predators have been shown to forage on the large biomass of mesopelagic fish. During the day, these large communities reside in the mesopelagic zone (200-1000 m) and begin an upward migration to the ocean’s surface at dusk. Marine predators have been shown to follow the same vertical migration allowing them to forage on the large mesopelagic fish biomass. Since marine predators have also been shown to forage inside eddies, our project aims to investigate how mesoscale eddies structure the diversity of mesopelagic fish in the North Atlantic by using multivariate analyses to explain the relationship between net tow samples of fish community composition and eddy characteristics. Results suggested regional patterns of species composition as well as changes in composition from the core to the periphery of an anticyclonic eddy, and distinct community composition of a mode-water eddy.

This was such an incredible summer. I learned so much about eddies, mesopelagic fish, multivariate statistics, and learned new skills on Rstudio. I want to thank my mentors, Martini and Pete, for being so supportive, encouraging, and for teaching me so much. They gave me the support and confidence I needed to start the next chapter of my life and to follow my dreams. Thank you to the (Sub)mesoscale group for being so welcoming and encouraging. Thank you to Jed Thompson and everyone in JISAO/CICOES for this incredible opportunity.

Victoria's research poster