Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Sciences
Senior Marine Scientist, Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Ph.D., 1994, University of California, Santa Cruz
My research program is broadly aimed at processes that influence
the production and distribution of coastal marine plankton.
The principal area of research that I am involved with is
the ecology and biology of gelatinous zooplankton.
Current research activities
in this area are related to the potential response of gelatinous
zooplankton predators to short-term (i.e., seasons) and long-term
(i.e., years) changes in nutrient inputs from watersheds adjacent
to the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Four main areas of activity
1.Feeding, growth and
metabolism of jellies that utilize patchily distributed prey,
2.Reproduction and fertilization dynamics of jellies,
3.Behavioral adaptations that act to optimize growth and reproduction
of jellies, and
4.Ecology of invasive jellies.
A second area of research interest is the ecology of marine
snow - large detrital particles responsible for the rapid
transport of organic and inorganic material from the sea surface
to the sea floor.
Current research interests
in this area include:
1. Biotic and abiotic
factors controlling the production and sinking of marine snow
in coastal environments
2. In situ estimation of marine snow production over small
spatial and temporal scales.
A third area of research
interest is ecosystem-level linkage between estuaries and
the coastal ocean. Specifically, I am interested in the role
estuarine zooplankton play in controlling the exchange of
nutrients and energy between estuaries and the continental
My research program
is maintained at the coastal facilities of the Dauphin Island
Sea Lab; though, I currently collaborate with researchers
in several other states and countries.
In addition to the 'common
resources' of DISL (e.g., vessels, computer facilities, analytical
laboratories, an inverted microscope, spectroflurophotometer
and general wet laboratory space), my laboratory has specialized
analytical instruments used for the measurement of lipid,
a variety of dissecting and epifluorescence microscopes, and
multi-port respirometry apparatus.
Our wet laboratory has
a culturing facility to rear zooplankton for use in feeding
experiments, and I have 20 large and small closed circulation
tanks designed specifically for the culture/experimentation
of gelatinous zooplankton.
I also have a towed/profiling
digital video system for the in situ study of gelatinous zooplankton
in shallow coastal ecosystems, a variety of plankton nets,
and large mesocosm enclosures for studying feeding dynamics
of large jellies under 'natural' ocean conditions.
Graham, W. M., D. L. Martin, D. L. Felder, V. L. Asper
and H. M. Perry (In Press) Ecological and economic implications
of the tropical jellyfish invader, Phyllorhiza punctata von
Lendenfeld, in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions.
W. M. (In Press). Carnivorous jellyfish. In S. Mackinson,
T. A. Okey and B. Mahmoudi (eds.) A preliminary model of the
west Florida shelf food web for use in ecosystem-based fisheries
management and research. Florida Marine Research Publications,
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida
Marine Research Institute, St. Peteresburg.
Shipe, R. F. , U. Passow,
M. A. Brzezinski, W. M. Graham,
D. K. Pak, D. A. Siegel and A. L. Aldredge. (In Press). Effects
of the 1997-98 El Nino on seasonal variations in suspended
and sinking particles in the Santa Barbara Basin. Progress
W. M., J. E. Purcell (2001). Introduction: Social,
economic and ecological issues involving jellyfish blooms.
In J. E. Purcell, W. M. Graham and H. J. Dumont (eds.) Jellyfish
Blooms: Ecological and Societal Importance. Kluwer Academic.
W. M. (2001). Numerical increases and distributional
shifts of Chrysaora quinquecirrha (Desor) and Aurelia aurita
(Linne) (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
W. M., F. Pages, and W. M. Hamner. (2001). A physical
context for gelatinous zooplankgon aggregations: a review.
W. M. and R. Kroutil. (2001). Size-based prey selectivity
and dietary shifts in the jellyfish, Aurelia aurita. Journal
of Plankton Research 23:67-74.
Purcell, J.E., D. L.
Breitburg, M. B. Decker, W. M. Graham,
M. J. Youngbluth, and K. Rastoff. (2001). Pelagic Cnidarians
and Ctenophores in low dissolved oxygen environments. Effects
of hypoxia on living resources, with emphasis on the northern
Gulf of Mexico. In NN Rabalais and RE Turner (eds.), pp. 77-100.
American Geophysical Union.
W.M., S. MacIntyre and A.L. Alldredge. (2000) Diel
patterns in the concentration of marine snow and particle
flux in surface waters. Deep-Sea Research I. 47:367-395.
Graham, W.M. and J.L. Largier.
1997. Upwelling shadows as nearshore retention sites: the
example of northern Monterey Bay. Continental Shelf Research.
Lenarz, W.H., D. VenTresca,
W.M. Graham and F.B. Schwing.
1995. Explorations of El Ninos and associated biological population
dynamics of central California. California Cooperative Oceanic
Fisheries Investigations Reports 36: 106-119.
W.M. 1993. Spatio-temporal scale assessment of an "upwelling
shadow" in northern Monterey Bay, California. Estuaries.
W.M., J.G. Field, D.C. Potts. 1992. Persistent "upwelling
shadows" and their influence on zooplankton distributions.
Marine Biology. 114: 561-570.
Shanks, A.L. and
1987. Oriented swimming in the jellyfish Stomolophus meleagris
L. Agassiz (Scyphozoan: Rhizostomida). Journal of Experimental
Marine Biology and Ecology. 108(2): 159-170.