Unsupported Browser Detected

Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Scientists Study Euphausiids (Krill) In Alaska: Fish Food And Indicators Of Ecosystem Health

March 01, 2016

Alaska has an abundance of marine life including whales, dolphins, seals and fish. In fact, the walleye pollock resource supports the largest fishery in the U.S. Why is this? Availability of prey has a lot to do with it.

Two scientists pointing at krill in a bucket

Check Out Our Fish Food Tweet Chat

View the Tweet Chat, held on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 with NOAA Fisheries research biologists, Patrick Ressler and Kirsten Simonsen, the lead authors on this important new study.

About Our Scientists

NOAA Fisheries research biologist Patrick Ressler.

Patrick Ressler works with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Midwater Assessment and Conservation Engineering program. His research interests include understanding how physical oceanographic features influence the distribution of zooplankton, fish, and other higher predators, applying acoustic field methods to the study of patterns in zooplankton and fish abundance and distribution, developing acoustic indicators for use in fisheries management and stock assessment, and learning how marine ecosystems respond to climate change. 

Prior to joining NOAA Fisheries, Patrick attended Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA (B.A., Biology, 1996), and after spending a semester abroad learning oceanography and nautical science aboard a large sailboat, he came home wanting to go back to the ocean. After learning about biological oceanography, acoustics, and marine mammals at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX (Ph.D., Oceanography), he spent a year as a post-doc at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR studying oceanography and euphausiids (‘krill’) of the California Current. 


NOAA Fisheries research biologist Kirsten Simonsen.

Kirsten Simonsen also works with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Midwater Assessment and Conservation Engineering program. Her primary interests are in fisheries ecology, examining the roles of habitat and the environment on the ecology of marine fish.

Prior to joining NOAA Fisheries, Kirsten went to Roger Williams University to pursue a degree in Marine Biology (B.S., Marine Biology, 2001). She spent a year after college working at the University of Maryland Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, before moving back to New York to work for a non-profit marine biological field station, teaching high school interns and various school groups about marine ecology. In 2004, she moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to pursue her graduate degree in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences. Here, she studied the effects of an inshore artificial reef on the distribution and feeding ecology of estuarine fish.

Additional Resources