McClain Lab Gets 3/4 Million Dollar Grant!
So in the roller coaster that is 2016, I am very happy to announce that I have a NSF funded grant. Seth Newsome (U. of New Mexico) and I are continuing my work with deep-sea wood falls. The official title is “The energetic assembly of biological communities: a test with deep-sea wood falls.” In brief, wood falls allows to precisely control the amount of energy that the biological community receives because the species are completely nutritionally dependent on the wood. So bigger logs more food and energy available to sustain the community. This simply experiment, well simple in that it requires multiple days of ship time and putting an experiment a few miles deep in the ocean, allows us to see where the energy goes. Does the energy go to more metabolically expensive strategies, more individuals, more species, bigger body sizes, more complex food webs? So why is chunking wood in the ocean important? Climate changing is greatly altering food supplies both in the oceans and on land. With these experiments we can begin to predict how this will impact both ecosystems function and biodiversity.