Centre for Gelatinous Plankton Ecology & Evolution

Drifting organisms in the ocean, plankton, lay the foundation for marine ecosystem productivity and their resilience to human induced perturbations. Lately, gelatinous zooplankton organisms, especially jellyfish, have raised large public attention as they are regarded to be winners of global change, negatively impacting coastal ecosystems and human welfare while being deemed a dead end in the food chain. However, the scientific knowledge-base supporting these paradigms is weak and, in general, gelatinous zooplankton are disregarded in marine food web studies. The Centre for Gelatinous Plankton Ecology & Evolution aims to investigate the role and future potential of jellyfish and other gelatinous zooplankton organisms. An inter-disciplinary approach is be applied, utilizing the excellent infrastructure and expertise present at DTU Aqua as well as within the international network of the Centre for Gelatinous Plankton Ecology & Evolution. The research will to address i) the role of gelatinous zooplankton in tropical to arctic ecosystems and the impact of natural predators such as fish on jellyfish abundances, ii) if indeed native and invasive jellyfish are on a rise and whether this is related to global change-induced pressures and, iii) the potential of gelatinous plankton to adapt to changing environmental conditions.

The Centre is funded by the VELUX FOUNDATIONS (Villum Fonden & Velux Fonden) via a Villum Young Investigator grant to CJ, 2019.