Brett Jameson, PhD Candidate

University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Despite being raised in the landlocked prairies of Saskatchewan, I became intrigued with the ocean at a young age.  I received a BSc in Marine Biology from Dalhousie University in 2016, where I developed a passionate interest in evolutionary ecology and marine ecosystem dynamics. In a broad sense, my current research interests are concerned with the effects of human-induced stressors on the functioning of marine ecosystems and the diversity of life within them.

Supervisor: Dr. Kim Juniper

CHONe Project: Project 2.1.3 Hypoxia and cumulative impacts on seafloor ecosystem function

Project Title: Cumulative impacts of hypoxia and seafloor disturbance on benthic nitrogen cycle processes: implications for ecosystem services

Project Description:

The nitrogen cycle is perhaps the most complex marine biogeochemical cycle, and is tightly connected to the cycling of numerous other elements. As generally the most limiting nutrient in marine ecosystems, nitrogen availability serves as a primary control on biological productivity and thus the global carbon pump. Consequently, the large-scale metabolic processes that alter the inventory of fixed nitrogen substrates exert significant influence on marine food webs and climate change feedbacks. These processes are overwhelmingly dominated by microbial constituents, emphasizing the importance of understanding how marine bacterial communities respond to environmental change and human perturbation.

My goal is to determine how oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) act in conjunction with bottom trawling industries to impact seafloor nitrogen-cycle processes on Canada’s western continental slope. Using rate measurement and functional gene approaches, I aim to build an understanding of how low oxygen levels and physical disturbance affect the diversity and function of microbial communities involved in the cycling of bioavailable nitrogen compounds. By providing insight into the potential implications of Canada’s expanding OMZs with respect to microbial ecosystem services, this work will hopefully help inform national marine management strategies and improve the protection of our offshore waters.