Biological oceanographer Myron Peck is head of the Department of Coastal Systems at NIOZ. Apart from his management tasks, Peck researches the effects of changing environmental conditions on growth, reproduction and dispersal of numerous animal species. “I am particularly interested in commercially interesting fish species.”
“With my group, we use laboratory experiments to help understand how marine food webs will respond to warming temperatures or changing acidity and oxygen levels. For example, fish are cold-blooded and increase their swimming and feeding activity with increasing temperature. As these activities increase, the oxygen demand grows as well and, after some warm threshold, a species will start to feed and grow poorly. How do those thresholds and sensitivities compare for traditional species and newer species entering our regional waters? Can fish adapt to these changes by altering where they feed and when they reproduce? When combined with information on fish diets in the field, all of this information can be used in computer models to test the potential effects of climate change on the food web.”
From an ecological point of view, climate change is an unwanted and bad outcome of human activities. However, some fisheries might profit in the future if they are ready to move away from traditional species (herring and cod are likely climate losers in our area) and move towards fishing newcomers. Our work at NIOZ helps understand ecological change and predict the winners and losers to provide much needed science-based advice to policymakers developing climate change adaptation policies.”
“Sustainable fisheries is one of three pillars under the international EU-project Future Mares, that I coordinate. Within this project, we look at so-called Nature-Based Solutions. That means we try to find possibilities to use the power of nature to protect and restore ecosystems.”Read more +
My research interests encompass a broad range of aspects relating to functioning and drivers of estuarine and marine species and ecosystems particularly:
My group’s research includes field, laboratory and modeling studies conducted on key members of food webs from plankton (including copepods to gelatinous species) to various life stages of estuarine and marine fish species with emphasis on early life stages of ecologically and commercially important fishes. Several ongoing research programs are utilizing spatially-explicit, biophysical modelling approaches including end-to-end models (from physics to fish to fisheries). Central to advancing an understanding of social-ecological systems includes research integrating stakeholders such as industry (transdisciplinary research).