Donald Deibel

B.S. Biology, Bucknell University

Ph.D. Zoology (Biological Oceanography), University of Georgia

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada University Research Fellow (1985-1995)

Professor (Research), Memorial University of Newfoundland

President's Award for Outstanding Research, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1990

Bergen Exchange Fellowship, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1991

Editorial Advisor, Marine Ecology Progress Series 

 Research Interests

I am a biological oceanographer interested in the ecology and physiology of marine plankton. My research is focused on the feeding and metabolism of zooplankton, in particular on the bioenergetics of gelatinous pelagic tunicates and copepods. Currently, I am working on food selection, feeding rates and assimilation efficiencies of tunicates and copepods, focusing in particular on determining their ingestion and assimilation of heterotrophic food, such as heterotrophic nanoflagellates, ciliates and dinoflagellates. A related interest is in the very fine scale fluid mechanics of how pelagic tunicates use their mucous filters to capture sub-micrometre food particles, such as free-living bacteria and colloids.

I have two field projects dealing with ecosystem energy flow in Arctic fjords and polynyas. In Conception Bay, Newfoundland, (subarctic fjord) I am working with a multi-disciplinary team on utilisation of the sinking spring diatom bloom by bottom-associated organisms. My portion of the project deals with the use of lipid, fatty acid and stable isotope biomarkers to trace the flow of fresh phytodetritus into hyperbenthic zooplankton living within 10 metres of the bottom. Just now I am focusing on the life cycle and feeding of amphipods, mysids and chaetognaths. The bottom water mass of Conception Bay is < 0 C the year round, so this is a unique environment in which to study biological dynamics at sub-zero water temperatures.

I am involved in two multi-disciplinary investigations into the marine carbon cycle, the Canadian Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS)  and the Northwater Polynya Study (NOW). In both of these programs, I am focusing on determination of omnivorous feeding rates of both copepods and pelagic tunicates, and their linkage with microzooplankton and the microbial food web. The JGOFS field site is the subarctic Pacific Ocean, and the Northwater polynya is off the coast of Northwestern Greenland.


Ocean Science Centre

Current Research Projects

Past Post-docs and Graduate Students

Current Post-docs and Graduate Students

Photogallery of Adventures!


Dr. D. Deibel 
Ocean Sciences Centre
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland
Canada A1C 5S7