I’m currently working on a project to understand the ability of plankton species, seen to be migrating north into the Arctic Ocean, to survive the tough conditions they’ll encounter when they get there. We are especially interested in the daylength, which is extreme at the poles. To do this, I am comparing morphological, physiological, behavioural and clock gene expression data for species found in both polar and temperate locations.
I am also seeking to investigate the extent and implications of chaetognath non-carnivory in the world’s oceans. Their recently identified diet of diatoms could influence food web dynamics, the abundance of food for other animals, and the flux of carbon to the seafloor (processes that mitigate some aspects of climate change).
Check out my chaetognath project page.
CHASE (Chronobiology of Changing Arctic Sea Ecosystems): As the Arctic Ocean is warming, many marine organisms are moving northwards to take advantage of new habitats. Since photoperiod is central to the timing of many life-cycle events and the 'setting' of the biological circadian clock, the consequences of migrating 'up north' are as yet unknown. Funded by NERC and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 2018-21
Grigor JJ, Schmid MS, Caouette M, St.-Onge V. Brown TA, Barthélémy R-M (2020) Non-carnivorous feeding in Arctic chaetognaths. Progress in Oceanography 186(10233). doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2020.102388. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079661120301270
Grigor JJ, Schmid MS, Fortier L (2017) Growth and reproduction of the chaetognaths Eukrohnia hamata and Parasagitta elegans in the Canadian Arctic Ocean: capital breeding versus income breeding. Journal of Plankton Research 39:910-929. doi: 10.1093/plankt/fbx045. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/plankt/article/39/6/910/4344873
Schmid MS, Aubry C, Grigor JJ, Fortier L (2016) The LOKI underwater imaging system and an automatic identification model for the detection of zooplankton taxa in the Arctic Ocean. Methods in Oceanography 15-16:129-160. doi: 10.1016/j.mio.2016.03.003. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211122015300050
Grigor JJ, Marais AE, Falk-Petersen S, Varpe Ø (2015) Polar night ecology of a pelagic predator, the chaetognathParasagitta elegans. Polar Biology 38:87-98. doi: 10.1007/s00300-014-1577-8. Available from: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00300-014-1577-8.pdf
Grigor JJ, Søreide JE, Varpe Ø (2014) Seasonal ecology and life-history strategy of the high-latitude predatory zooplankter Parasagitta elegans. Marine Ecology Progress Series 499:77-88. doi: 10.3354/meps10676. Available from: https://www.int-res.com/articles/meps_oa/m499p077.pdf
Schmid MS, Baltensperger AP, Grigor JJ, Huettmann F (2015) Assessments of carbon stock hotspots in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In: Huettmann F (ed.) Central American Biodiversity: Conservation, Ecology, and a Sustainable Future. Springer, New York, pp 677-701.doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2208-6_30. Available from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4939-2208-6_30
Other research outputs: software
Salas C, Kinkel R, Delgado A, Grigor JJ (2018) Svalbard zooplankton identification app (for android phones). Available from:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Svalbard.salasc.svalbardzooplanktonidentification (Research in Svalbard-ID 11040)
Schmid MS, Aubry C, Grigor JJ, Fortier L (2015) ZOOMIE v1.0 (Zooplankton Multiple Image Exclusion). doi:10.5281/zenodo.1792. Available from: https://zenodo.org/record/17928,
Marine Science BSc: Year 4 Behaviour and Biological Clocks.
Marine Science BSc: Year 3 Biogeochemistry.
Marine Science BSc: Year 2 Fieldwork (zooplankton sampling)
Current research students
Chelsey McGowan-Yallop: Using autonomous wideband echosounders to characterise polar ecosystems. PhD. 2018-21
Alumni research students
Joseph Turner: The borealisation of calanoid copepods in sub-Arctic and European shelf seas: a review of the ecological implications. H3 Marine Science BSc. 2018/19.
Frederick Fleet: The effect of lipid content and prosome length on behaviour of Calanus finmarchicus. H4 Marine Science BSc. 2018/19.
I have also supervised a number of interns including Vaila Grigg and Michela Iodio.
ARCTOS Postdoctoral Association: Member
International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE): Member
Changing Arctic Ocean: Member
Relevant research expeditions
Arctic cruises in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2019
Sub-Arctic cruises in 2012
Regular local fieldwork in Loch Etive
Previously lived in Svalbard (Arctic Norway) for one year, studying Marine Science with Arctic Science at the University Centre in Svalbard
Public engagement / media activities
A few of many videos and articles (in no particular order):
Nashville News Channel 5: Upside-Down Jellyfish Take Up Residence At Vanderbilt University's SSMV Aquarium
Ocean Explorer Magazine (summer 2020)
Marine Biology and Climate Change (Straight from a Scientist podcast)
Studying the tigers of the plankton aboard the CCGS Amundsen (Innovation Canada podcast)
Prizes and awards
2012 – 2016
Scholarship from the Canadian Excellence Research Chair on Canada’s new Arctic frontier ($42500CAD) for doctoral project at Laval University, as well as support from Quebec Ocean ($12000CAD).
Laval University Bursary of Excellence: Leadership and Sustainable Development Scholarship Program ($10000CAD per year).
Prize for best poster in category: Marine Natural Science at ArcticNet Annual Science Meeting, Halifax, Canada ($500CAD).
Scottish Arctic Club funding (£500 to conduct M.Sc. project work on Svalbard, Norway).
Student Awards Agency for Scotland (Postgraduate award) (£3000 to cover M.Sc. annual tuition fees).
Financial support to help fund a year of study in Norway; Thomas & Margaret Roddan Trust Bursary (£1500), Erasmus Bursary.
Reviewed zooplankton subject manuscripts for many journals including Marine Biology, Biological Reviews, Progress in Oceanography and Marine Biology Research.
Since 2018: Postdoctoral Research Associate. SAMS, Scotland
2016-18: Postdoctoral Instructor. Vanderbilt University, USA
2017 PhD Oceanography. Laval University, Canada
2011 MSc Climate Change: Impacts and Mitigation. Heriot-Watt University, Scotland
2010 BSc (Hons) Marine Science with Arctic Studies. University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland