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Interdisciplinary Seminar: Taylor Asher

March 5 @ 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm

UNC Marine Sciences graduate student and Luettich lab member, Taylor AsherAn Interdisciplinary seminar from UNC Marine Sciences graduate student, Taylor Asher. Presented by the UNC-CH Department of Marine Sciences and UNC’s Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS). The main location of this event will be in seminar room G201 on the ground floor of Murray Hall on UNC-CH campus in Chapel Hill, NC. The seminar will be streamed live to room 222 at IMS in Morehead City, NC. This event will be held on Monday, March 5th at 12:20pm.

Seminar Title: Does Biomixing Affect Ocean Circulation?

Image from Taylor Asher Interdisciplinary Seminar on Does Biomixing Affect Ocean CirculationAbstract: Originally proposed (partially in jest) in 1966, the notion that the collective swimming behavior of the marine biome may influence ocean circulation is a tantalizing idea, bucking the standard dogma that physical processes needn’t acknowledge the living world. Fundamental calculations suggest immense energy potential on the order of terawatts (1015 watts) across marine organisms, and observational data show krill and fish migrations inducing periods of intense turbulent that exceed those observed in the ocean by up to five orders of magnitude. Yet, detailed analyses, numerical models, and observations have produced limited support for this idea and frequent contradictions. Deep-diving toothed whales, gently gliding jelly fish, roaming schools of tuna and sardines, and vertically migrating swarms of krill and zooplankton are a few of the organisms that have been implicated in this search for a biological feedback mechanism influencing ocean physics. Such breadth of species yields a commensurate breadth of phenomena, leading to several proposed physical mechanisms, each with their own merits and drawbacks. Ultimately, this question is too broad to be answered with “yes” or “no”; instead, this talk aims to evaluate the research at a range of scales, from sperm whales driving meridional overturning circulation to zooplankton using distinct swimming strategies for feeding and migration.


March 5
12:20 pm - 1:20 pm
Event Category:


UNC Dept of Marine Sciences
(919) 962-1252


G201 Murray Hall
123 South Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3300 United States
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(919) 962-1252