Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Biology (Integrative Biology)

Major Professor

Bradford Gemmell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kakani Katija, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeremiah Doody, Ph.D.


Marine, Midwater, Predatory-Prey, ROV, Zooplankton


Bolinopsis infundibulum is a wide-ranging, ubiquitous ctenophore whose fragile nature makes the collection of specimens and quantification of key predator-prey activities in controlled laboratory experiments, challenging. Thus, in situ methods often represent the best means for data collection. However, while present in surface waters, these animals can also be abundant at depths well beyond those attainable by divers. As a result, very little empirical data exist over the depth range of their natural habitats which limits our ability to assess key predator-prey interactions needed to assess their ecological role in midwater food webs. Working in Monterey Bay, California, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) deployed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) were utilized to quantify feeding behaviors, swimming kinematics, and gut contents using both live collections and in situ high-definition video footage. Combined with ship-board digestion rate data, this study serves as the first collection of in situ quantitative data for this species at midwater depths. The data were used to estimate thermal sensitivity, daily carbon intake, and total carbon intake for the population. Bolinopsis infundibulum is able to regulate its metabolic rate to reduce energetic carbon demands at depths where prey availability is reduced. This information is used to discuss potential advantages to concentrating population abundances in midwater ecosystems, the potential impact of predation on copepods, and nutrient cycling in this important but understudied species.