Dr. Jacqueline M. Grebmeier

Jackie Grebmeier
Jackie Grebmeier, Ph. D. 
Research Professor
Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
The University of Maryland

The Pacific Arctic Region: A Window into Shifting Benthic Populations in Response to Ecosystem Change                             

A key ecological organizing principle for the northern Sea in the Pacific Arctic is that the shallow, seasonally productive waters lead to strong coupling of spring-summer pelagic production to the underlying sediments as sea ice retreats. Both in situ production and advection of upstream phytodetritus to these regions support persistent biological hotspots that connect benthic prey to diving marine mammals and seabirds, such as gray whales, walruses, and spectacled eiders. Times-series data over the last 30 years indicate that these regions have experienced a northward shift in macrofaunal composition and a decline in core benthic biomass that matches patterns of reduced sea ice, warming seawater, and changing sediment grain size that relates to varying current patterns. This presentation will discuss these data in the context of both process studies from the region and results from the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO), an international network of time series transects that is providing a framework to evaluate status and trends on a latitudinal bases in the Pacific Arctic region.




Dr. Jacqueline Grebmeier is a Research Professor and a biological oceanographer at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (Chesapeake Biological Laboratory). Her extensive field research is advancing the understanding of how Arctic marine ecosystems respond to environmental change, and her leadership and service enhance the role of scientific observation and research in national and international Arctic policy. 

Dr. Grebmeier's research focuses on biological productivity in Arctic waters and sediments as well as long-term trends in ecosystem health of Arctic continental shelves, including the importance of bottom dwelling (benthic) organisms to higher levels of the Arctic food web, such as walrus, gray whale, and diving sea ducks. Past research also includes the study of radionuclide distributions in sediments and within the Arctic water column and the transport and fate of materials in melted snow in Arctic tundra. She was the overall project lead scientist for the U.S. Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interactions project and participated in the Russian-American Census of the Arctic (RUSALCA), the Chukchi Sea Offshore Monitoring in Drilling Area (COMIDA) program, the Bering Sea Project, and the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) in the Arctic. 

Dr. Grebmeier has served on numerous national and international advisory committees and research boards, including as a U.S. delegate to and a vice-president of the International Arctic Science Committee, a member of the U.S. Polar Research Board, and a Commissioner of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. She has been on advisory and review committees to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Polar Research Board, National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Fish and Wildlife Service as well as on the steering committee for U.S. efforts during the International Polar Year. Dr. Grebmeier has been involved with numerous teacher experience and education programs in the Arctic, including hosting TREC teachers in 2004, 2006 and PolarTREC in 2007.

Dr. Grebmeier received a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of California, Davis in 1977, Masters Degrees in Biology from Stanford University in 1979 and in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington in 1983, specializing in applications of Arctic science to Arctic resource utilization policy, and a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1987.
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