Zooplankton Ecology Lab


Kendra L. Daly, Professor

Kendra L. Daly, Professor

Kendra L. Daly, Professor

College of Marine Science
University of South Florida
140 Seventh Ave. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Office: MSL Rm 220C
Phone: 727-553-1041
Lab: MSL 224B-C
Phone: 727-553-1207
Fax: 727-553-1189
E-mail: kdaly@usf.edu

Dr. Daly's research interests focus on zooplankton ecology, with the aim of understanding the physical and biological factors that control the abundance and distribution of zooplankton and the role of zooplankton in marine food webs, biogeochemical cycles, and fisheries oceanography. A current project will assess the seasonal and interannual variability in the abundance and distribution of zooplankton in the Apalachicola Bay, in northwest Florida. Other recent projects include investigations of (1) the Gulf of Mexico lower trophic food web response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, (2) the role of marine snow in the sedimentation of Deepwater Horizon oil to the sea floor, and (3) ecosystem dynamics and predator-prey interactions in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, using the SCINI remotely operated vehicle with a variety of sensors.

Dr. Daly is a 2015 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also is Secretary of the Biological Oceanography section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Chair of the Ocean Observatories Initiative Facilities Board (OOIFB), and serves on the NSF Regional Class Research Vessel Science Oversight Committee.

current & recent Research projects include:


Apalachicola Bay is a large, productive estuary in northwest Florida, with significant freshwater inputs. We are collaborating with researchers from the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, who have been collecting zooplankton samples quarterly since 2016 and imaging samples using a FlowCam 8000. We will develop image libraries and apply a classification scheme to identify zooplankton taxa and ultimately evaluate the effects of environmental variability on the abundance and distribution of zooplankton in the estuary.

Oil-Marine Snow-Mineral Aggregate Interactions and Sedimentation during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The goal of this project was to use coagulation theory to develop a predictive, mechanistic model for how oil coagulates with particulate material and sinks to the seafloor in the marine environment.

C-IMAGE (Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems). The focus of this project was to assess the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the lower trophic food web. We completed 22 cruises in the northern Gulf of Mexico and west Florida shelf using CTD and other environmental sensors, net tows, and the SIPPER camera imaging system.

The Role of Top Predators in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. The major goal of this multi-disciplinary project was to assess the influence of top-down forcing (predation) on pelagic zooplankton and fish in the relatively pristine Ross Sea. The abundance and distribution of phytoplankton, sea ice biota, and prey were quantified using ice cores, CTD and fluorescence profiles, acoustic transects, and ROV imagery.