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Marine GIS, Optics and Conservation






Marine Environmental Biology
Department of Biological Sciences



AquaModel - a simulation model for mariculture operations


EASy GoogleEarth - a new plugin to port EASy projects to Google Earth


EASy - Environmental Analysis System


Welcome to the Kiefer Lab's newly redesigned website at University of Southern California. We hope you find your visit enjoyable and informative. Don't forget to visit Projects to see a comprehensive project listing of what we do.

Our laboratory work has focused on examining how physiological acclimation to the ambient growth environment influences the absorption, scattering, and fluorescence properties of microbial cells. This information has contributed to a better understanding of the relationship between the optical properties of sea water and the distribution and growth rates of natural planktonic communities, and has proven useful to the interpretation of optical data obtained from instrument platforms located on ships, moorings, and satellites. This work has also led to the development of a fluorometer which may provide a new and rapid means of measuring primary production in the sea.

We have employed thermodynamic principles to derive equations that describe growth and metabolic regulation in phytoplankton. We have also used theories of particle optics to develop a data base of the optical properties of various types of plankton. Further, we have investigated the changes in the underwater light field when different concentrations of plankton are in the ocean using a radiative transfer algorithm. These three types of theoretical work have been incorporated into models which predict the absorption of sunlight by the ocean and allow for the mapping of global primary productivity from satellite data. In addition to our work on algal physiology, we have developed models to describe the distribution of phytoplankton and zooplankton spatially (a stratigraphic hypothesis) and in terms of size (a random encounter hypothesis).


Part of USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies



© 2006 Kiefer Lab of University of Southern California

Marine Environmental Biology
3616 Trousdale Pkwy, AHF 107
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90089
PH (213) 740 - 5813