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The University of Texas
Marine Science Institute
750 Channel View Drive
Port Aransas, TX 78373
Phone: 361-749-6711

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Edward J Buskey

Department of Marine Science

Fellow of Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Regents Chair in Marine Science

Zooplankton Ecology, Estuarine Ecology

Phone: 361-749-3102

Office Location
ERC 2.310

Postal Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Mar Sci Inst-Port Aran
750 Channel View Dr
Port Aransas, TX 78373
Ph.D., Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island (1983) 
M.Sc., University of British Columbia (1976) 
B.A., Brown University (1974)

Research Interests

Zooplankton Ecology

Behavior and sensory perception of zooplankton; bioluminescence of marine plankton; predator-prey interactions; photobehavior; role of zooplankton grazers in phytoplankton bloom dynamics, effects of crude oil and dispersants on marine zooplankton.

Estuarine Ecology

Research and monitoring within the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, including studies of climate change, freshwater inflows, nutrient loads and harmful algal blooms.

My research interests in marine science have focused on studies of the behavioral ecology of marine zooplankton, and how sensory perception mediates behavioral adaptations for locating food resources, avoiding predators and finding mates. Much of this research makes use of video microcinematography, high speed digital holography and automated video-computer methods for image and motion analysis. I am particularly interested in the role of photoreception in mediating potential predator-prey interactions within the plankton, including the role of bioluminescence in nocturnal predator-prey interactions, the role of vision in the feeding of larval fish on zooplankton and the role of sunlight in vertical migration of oceanic plankton to avoid visual predators. I am also interested in the role of planktonic grazers in harmful algal bloom dynamics; several ongoing studies are investigating the role of grazers in bloom dynamics of the toxic red tide dinoflagellate Karenia brevis with funding from the Gulf of Mexico.

Within the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve my laboratory runs the System Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) which measures water quality at six stations within the reserve at 15 minute intervals. We also monitor nutrient concentrations and monitor phytoplankton and zooplankton populations on a monthly basis.

Research Initiative

I am leading a consortium of six research institutions to study how physical processes and chemical dispersants break up crude oil patches in the sea, and the impacts of this dispersed oil on the base of the marine food web (bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton).

Almeda, R., Bona, S., Foster, C.R., and E.J. Buskey. 2014. Dispersant Corexit 9500A and chemically dispersed crude oil decreases the growth rates of meroplankton barnacle nauplii (Amphibalanus improvisus) and tornaria larvae (Schizocardium sp.). Marine Environmental Research. 99: 212-217.

Gemmell, B.J., Jiang, H., and E.J. Buskey. 2014. A new approach to microscale particle image velocimetry (µPIV) for quantifying flows around free swimming zooplankton. Journal of Plankton Research.

Almeda. R., Hyatt, C., and E.J. Buskey. 2014. Toxicity of dispersant and Corexit 9500A and crude oil to marine microzooplankton. Exotoxicol. Environ,. Safety. 106:76-85.

Almeda, R., Hyatt, C., and E.J. Buskey. 2014. Ingestion and sublethal effects of physically and chemically dispersed crude oil on marine planktonic copepods. Ecotoxicoly. doi: 10.1007/s10646-014-1242-6.

Almeda, R., Wambaugh, Z., Wang, Z., Hyatt, C., Liu, Z., and E.J. Buskey. 2013. Interactions between zooplankton and crude oil: toxic effect and bioaccumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. PLoS One 8(6): e67212.

Almeda, R., Wambaugh, Z., Chao, C., Wang, Z., Liu, Z., and E.J. Buskey. 2013. Effects of crude oil exposure on bioaccumulation of polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons and survival of adult and larval stages of gelatinous zooplankton. PLoS One 8(10): e74476.

Brusewitz, D.A., Gardner, W.S., Mooney, R.F., Pollard, L., and E.J. Buskey. 2013. Estuarine ecosystem function response to flood and drought in shallow, semiarid estuary: Nitrogen cycling and ecosystem metabolism. Limnol. Oceanogr. 58(6): 2293-2309.

Gemmell, B.J., Sheng, J. and E.J. Buskey.  2013. A compensatory escape mechanism at low Reynolds Number. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1212148110.

Gemmell, B.J., Sheng, J., and E.J. Buskey. 2013. Morphology of seahorse head hydrodynamically aids in capture of evasive prey. Nature Comm. 4(2840). doi: 10.1038/ncomms3840.

Gemmell, B.J., Jiang, H., and E.J. Buskey. 2012. Plankton reach new heights in effort to avoid predators. Proc. R. Soc. B. 279: 2786-2792.

Gemmell, B.J. and E.J. Buskey. 2011. The transition from nauplii to copepodites: susceptibility of developing copepods to fish predators. J. Plankton Res. doi: 10.1093/plankt/fbr066.

Campbell, L., R.J. Olson, H.M Sosik, A. Abraham, D. Henrichs, C. Hyatt, and E.J. Buskey. 2010. First harmful Dinophysis bloom in the US is revealed by automated imaging flow cytometry. J. Phycol. 46:66-75

Wu, C.-H., H.U Dahms, E.J. Buskey, J.R. Strickler, and J.S. Hwang. 2010. Behavioral interactions of Temora turbinata with its potential cilicite prey. Zoological Studies 49:157-168

Vandromme, P., F. Schmitt, S. Souissi, E.J. Buskey, J.R. Strickler, C.H. Wu, and J.S. Hwang. 2010. Symbolic analysis of plankton swimming trajectories: case study of Strombilidium sp (Protista) helical walking under various food conditions. Zoological Studies 49:289-303.

 Finelli, C.M., R.D. Clarke, H.E. Robinson, and E.J. Buskey. 2009. Water flow controls distribution and feeding behavior of two synoptic coral reef fishes: I. Field measurements. Coral Reefs 28:461-473.

Clarke, R.D., C.M. Finelli and E.J. Buskey. 2009. Water flow controls distribution and feeding behavior of two synoptic coral reef fishes. II. Laboratory experiments. Coral Reefs 28:475-488.

Buskey, E.J. 2008. How does eutrophication affect the role of grazers in harmful algal bloom dynamics? Harmful Algae 8:152-157.

Waggett, R.J. and E.J. Buskey. 2008. Escape reaction performance of myelinated and non-myelinated calanoid copepods. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 361:111-118.

Robinson, H.E., C.M. Finelli and E.J. Buskey. 2007. The turbulent lives of copepods: laboratory flume studies of how flow over a coral reef affect their ability to detect and evade predators. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 349:171-181.

DeYoe, H.R., E.J. Buskey and F.J. Jochem. 2007. Physiological responses of Aureoumbra lagunensis and Synechococcus sp to nitrogen addition in a mesocosm experiment. Harmful Algae 6:48-55.

Speekmann, C.L., B.S. Nunez and E.J. Buskey. 2007. Measuring RNA:DNA ratios in individual copepods, Acartia tonsa. Mar. Biol. 151:759-766.

Firth, C. and E.J. Buskey. 2007. Effects of the red tide dinoflagellate Karenia brevis on grazing and fecundity in the copepod Acartia tonsa. J. Plankton Res. 29:115-126.

Waggett, R.J. and E.J. Buskey. 2007. Copepod escape behavior in non-turbulent and turbulent hydrodynamic regimes. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 334:193-198.

Waggett, R.J. and E.J. Buskey. 2007. Calanoid copepod escape behavior in response to a visual predator: sensory and behavioral characteristics contributing to escape success. Mar. Biol. 150:559-607.

Speekmann, C.L., C.J. Hyatt and E.J. Buskey. 2006. Effects of a Karenia brevis diet on RNA:DNA ratios and egg production of Acartia tonsa. Harmful Algae 5:693-704.

Buskey, E.J. and C.J. Hyatt. 2006. Use of the Flow CAM for semi-automated recognition and enumeration of red tide cells in natural plankton samples. Harmful Algae 5:685-692.

Waggett, R.J. and E.J. Buskey. 2006. Copepod Sensitivity to flow fields: detection by copepods of predatory ctenophores. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser 323:205-211.

Alekperov, I., E. Buskey and N. Snegovaya. 2006. New and little known free living ciliates from the plankton of the Caspian Sea. Protistology 4:195-201.

Gilbert, O.M., and E.J. Buskey. 2005. Turbulence decreases the hydrodynamic predator-sensing ability of the planktonic copepod Acartia tonsa. J. Plankton Res. 27:1067-1071.

Buskey, E.J. 2005. Behavior characteristics of copepods that affect their suitability as food for larval fishes. In: Copepods in Aquaculture. C.-S. Lee, P.J. O'Bryen and N.M. Marcus (eds.), pp. 91-106. Blackwell Publishing, Ames, Iowa.

Clarke, R.J., E.J. Buskey and K.C. Marsden. 2005. Effects of water movement and prey behavior on zooplankton capture by two coral reef fishes. Marine Biology 146:1145-1155.

Collumb, C.J. and E.J. Buskey. 2004. Effects of the toxic red tide dinoflagellate (Karenia brevis) on survival, fecal pellet production and fecundity of the copepod Acartia tonsa. In: Harmful Algae 2002. K.A. Steidinger, J.H. Landsberg, C.R. Tomas, and G.A. Vargo (eds.), pp. 44-46.

Villareal, T.A., T. Chirichella and E.J. Buskey. 2004. Regional distribution of the Texas brown tide (Aureoumbra lagunensis) in the Gulf of Mexico. In: Harmful Algae 2002. K.A. Steidinger, J.H. Landsberg, C.R. Tomas, and G.A. Vargo (eds.), pp. 374-376.

Buskey, E.J., C.J. Hyatt and C.L. Speekmann. 2004. Trophic interactions within the planktonic food webs in mangrove channels of Twin Cays, Belize, Central America. Atoll Res. Bull. 529:1-22.

Buskey, E.J., C.J. Hyatt and W. Slingerland. 2004. Survival and reproduction of the copepod Parvocalanus crassirostris fed the Texas brown tide alga Aureoumbra lagunensis. In: Harmful Algae 2002. K.A. Steidinger, J.H. Landsberg, C.R. Tomas, and G.A. Vargo (eds.), pp. 106-108. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Liu, H. and E. Buskey. 2003. Effects of media N:P ratio on the extracellular polymeric substance (EPA) production by brown tide-forming alga Aureoumbra lagunensis. Plankton Biol. Ecol. 50:55-60.

Buskey, E.J., H. DeYoe, F. Jochem and T. Villareal. 2003. Effects of mesazooplankton removal on trophic structure during a bloom of the Texas "brown tide": a mesocosm study. J. Plank. Res. 25:215-228.

Buskey, E.J. and D.K. Hartline. 2003. High speed video analysis of the escape responses of the copepod Acartia tonsa to shadows. Biol. Bull. 204:28-37.

Buskey, E.J. 2003. Behavioral adaptations of the cubozoan medusa Tripedalia cystophora for feeding on copepod swarms. Mar. Biol. 142: 225-232.

Buskey, E.J., P.H. Lenz and D.K. Hartline. 2002. Escape behavior of planktonic copepods to hydrodynamic disturbance: high speed video analysis. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 235:135-146.

Bersano, J., E.J. Buskey and T.A. Villareal. 2002. Viability of the Texas brown tide alga Aureoumbra lagunensis in fecal pellets of the copepod Acartia tonsa. Plankton Biology and Ecology 49:88-92.

Buskey, E.J., H. Liu, C. Collumb and J. Bersano. 2001. The decline and recovery of a persistent brown tide algal bloom in the Laguna Madre (Texas, USA). Estuaries 24:337-346.

Liu, H., E.A. Laws, T. Villareal and E.J. Buskey. 2001. Nutrient limited growth of Aureoumbra lagunensis, with implications for its capability to outgrow other phytoplankton species in phosphate-limited environments. Journal of Phycology 37:500-508.

Jakobsen, H.H., C.J. Hyatt and E.J. Buskey. 2001. Growth and grazing on the "Texan brown tide" forming alga Aureoumbra lagunensis by the tintinnid Amphorides quadraliniatus. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 23:245-252.

Liu, H. and E.J. Buskey. 2000. The extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) layer surrounding Aureoumbra lagunensis cells reduces grazing by protozoa. Limnol. Oceanogr. 45:1187-1191.

Buskey, E.J. 2000. The role of vision in the aggregative behavior of the mysid Mysidium columbiae. Marine Biology 137:257-265.

Ward, L.A., P.A. Montagna, R.D. Kalke and E.J. Buskey. 2000. Sublethal effects of Texas brown tide on Streblospio bendicti (Polychaeta) larvae. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 248:121-129.

Liu, H. and E.J. Buskey. 2000. Hypersalinity enhances extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) production of Texas brown tide alga Aureoumbra lagunensis. Journal of Phycology.

Hartline, D.K., E.J. Buskey and P. Lenz. 1999. Rapid jumps and bioluminescence elicited by controlled hydrodynamic stimuli in a mesopelagic copepod Pleuromamma xiphias. Biological Bulletin 197:132-143.

Buskey, E.J., T.A. Villareal and T. Lopez-Barreiro. 1999. Reconstructing the initiation of the Texas brown tide bloom of Aureoumbra lagunensis from archived samples using an immunofluorescence assay. Plankton Biology and Ecology 46:159.

Whitledge, T.E., D.A. Stockwell, E.J. Buskey, K.H. Dunton, G.J. Holt, S.A. Holt and P.A. Montagna. 1999. Persistent brown tide bloom in Laguna Madre, Texas. In: The Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem, K. Sherman (ed.). Blackwell Science.

Buskey, E.J., K.H. Dunton and P.L. Parker. 1999. Variations in stable carbon isotope ratio of the copepod Acartia tonsa during the onset of the Texas brown tide. Estuaries 22:1018-1026.

Ambler, J.W., F.D. Ferrari, J. Fornshell and E.J. Buskey. 1999. Diel cycles of molting, mating, egg production and hatching in the swarm forming copepod Dioithona oculata. Plankton Biology and Ecology 46:120-127.

Buskey, E.J. 1998. The energetic cost of position-holding behavior in the holoplanktonic mysid Mysidium columbia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 172:139-147.

Buskey, E.J., B. Wysor and C. Hyatt. 1998. The role of hypersalinity in the persistence of the Texas "brown tide" bloom in the Laguna Madre. J. Plankton Res. 20:1553-1565.

Buskey, E.J. 1998. Components of mating behavior in planktonic copepods. Journal of Marine Systems 15:13-21.

Buskey, E.J. 1998. Energetic costs of swarming behavior for the copepod Dioithona oculata. Marine Biology 130:417-423.

Villareal, T.A., A. Mansfield and E.J. Buskey. 1998. Growth and chemical composition of the Texas brown tide Aureoumba lagunensis. In: B. Reguera, J. Blanco, M.L. Fernandez, and T. Wyatt (Eds.). Harmful Algae. Xunta de Galicia and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, pp. 263-265.

Buskey, E.J., P.A. Montagna, A.F. Amos and T.E. Whitledge. 1997. The initiation of the Texas brown tide algal bloom: disruption of grazer populations as a contributing factor. Limnol. and Oceanogr. 42:1215-1222.

Buskey, E.J. 1997. Behavioral components of feeding selectivity of the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Protoperidinium pellucidum. Marine Ecology Progress Series 153:77-89.

Ambler, J.W., S.A. Broadwater, E.J. Buskey and J.O. Peterson. 1996. Mating behavior in swarms of Dioithona oculata. In: Zooplankton: Sensory ecology and physiology. P.H. Lenz, D.K. Hartline, J.E. Purcell and D.L. MacMillan, eds. Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, Basel, p. 287-299.

Li, Y., E. Swift and E.J. Buskey. 1996. Photoinhibition of mechanically stimulable bioluminescence in the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Protoperidinium depressum. J. Phycol. 32:974-982.

Buskey, E.J., J.O. Peterson and J.W. Ambler. 1996. The swarming behavior of the copepod Diothona oculata: in situ and laboratory studies. Limnol. Oceanogr.41:513-521.

Buskey, E.J. and C.J. Hyatt. 1995. Effects of the Texas "brown tide" alga on planktonic grazers. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 126:285-292.

Buskey, E.J., J.O. Peterson and J.W. Ambler. 1995. The role of photoreception in the swarming behavior of the copepod Diothona oculata. Marine and Freshwater Behavior and Physiology 26:273-285.

Buskey, E.J. 1995. Growth and bioluminescence of Noctiluca scintillans on varying algal diets. J. Plank. Res. 17:29-40.

Buskey, E.J. 1995. Bioluminescence and growth rates of heterotrophic dinoflagellates on varying algal diets: implication for studies of bioluminescence in the Arabian Sea. Marine Science of the Arabian Sea (M.F. Thompson and N.M. Tirmizi, eds.). Vangard Press, pp. 149-160.

Buskey, E.J. 1994. Factors affecting feeding selectivity of visual predators on the copepod Acartia tonsa: locomotion, visibility and escape responses. Hydrobiologia 292/293:447-453.

Buskey, E.J., C.J. Coulter and S.L. Brown. 1994. Feeding, growth and bioluminescence of the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Protoperidinium huberi. Mar. Biol. 121:373-380.

Buskey, E.J., C. Coulter, J.O. Peterson and S. Brown. 1994. Measurements of bioluminescence, distribution and abundance of planktonic bioluminescent organism in the Arabian Sea. In: Biogeochemical processes in the Arabian Sea. Proceedings of U.S. - C.I.S. Arabian Sea Workshop, Sevastopol, Ukraine, pp. 232-237.

Buskey, E.J., C.J. Coulter and S.L. Strom. 1993. Locomotory patterns of microzooplankton: potential effects on food selectivity of larval fish. Bull. Mar. Sci. 53(2):29-43.

Buskey, E.J. 1993. Annual cycle of micro- and mesozooplankton abundance and biomass in a subtropical estuary. J. Plank. Res. 15:907-924.

Buskey, E.J. and D.A. Stockwell. 1993. Effects of a persistent "Brown Tide" on zooplankton populations in the Laguna Madre of South Texas. In: Toxic Phytoplankton Blooms in the Sea, T.J. Smayda and Y. Shimizu (eds.), 659-666. Proceedings Fifth International Conf. Toxic Marine Phytoplankton. Amsterdam, Elsevier Science Publishers.

Stockwell, D.A., E.J. Buskey and T.E. Whitledge. 1993. Studies on conditions conducive to the development and maintenance of a persistent "brown tide" in Laguna Madre, Texas, T.J. Smayda and Y. Shimizu, (eds.), 693-698. Proceedings Fifth International Conf. Toxic Marine Phytoplankton. Amsterdam, Elsevier Science Publishers.

Strom, S.L. and E.J. Buskey. 1993. Feeding, growth, and behavior of the thecate heterotrophic dinoflagellate Oblea rotunda. Limnol. Oceanogr. 38:965-977.

Buskey, E.J. 1992. Epipelagic planktonic bioluminescence in the marginal ice zone of the Greenland Sea. Mar. Biol. 113:689-698.

Buskey, E.J., S.L. Strom and C.J. Coulter. 1992. Bioluminescence of heterotrophic dinoflagellates from Texas coastal waters. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 159:37-49.

Buskey, E.J. 1992 Measurement and prediction of epipelagic bioluminescence. In: B.N. Desai (ed.) Oceanography of the Indian Ocean. Oxford and IBH, New Delhi, pp. 21-31.

Smith, W.O., Jr., L.A. Codispoti, D.M. Nelson, T. Manley, E.J. Buskey, H.J. Niebauer and G.F. Cota. 1991. Importance of Phaeocystis blooms in the high-latitude ocean carbon cycle. Nature 352:514-516.

Buskey, E.J. and D.E. Stearns. 1991. The effects of starvation on bioluminescence potential and egg release of the copepod Metridia longa. J. Plank. Res. 13:885-893.

Buskey, E.J. and E. Swift. 1990. An encounter model to predict natural bioluminescence. Limnol. Oceanogr. 35:1469-1485.

Riley, C.M., G.J. Holt, S.A. Holt, E.J. Buskey and C.R. Arnold. 1989. Mortality of larval red drum Sciaenops ocellatus associated with a Ptychodiscus brevis red tide. Cont. Mar. Sci. 31:137-146.

Smith, R.C., D. Siegel, J. Marra, D.A. Kiefer, E. Swift, E. Buskey and M.J. Perry. 1989. Estimation of a photon budget for the upper ocean in the Sargasso Sea. Limnol. Oceanogr.

Buskey, E.J. and D.K. Stoecker. 1989. Behavioral responses of the marine tintinnid Favella sp. to phytoplankton: influence of chemical, mechanical and photic stimuli. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 132:1-16.

Buskey, E.J., K.S. Baker, R.C. Smith and E. Swift. 1989. Photosensitivity of the oceanic copepods Pleuromamma gracilis and Pleuromamma xiphias and its relationship to light penetration and daytime depth distribution. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 55:207-216.

Butman, C.A., J.P. Grassle and E.J. Buskey. 1988. Horizontal swimming and gravitational sinking of Capitella sp. I larvae: implications for settlement. Ophelia 29:43-57.

Buskey, E.J. and D.K. Stoecker. 1988. Locomotory patterns of the planktonic ciliate Favella sp.: adaptation for locating food patches and food particles. Bull. Mar. Sci. 43:783-796.

Buskey, E.J., C.G. Mann and E. Swift. 1987. Photophobic responses of calanoid copepods: possible adaptive value. J. Plankton Res. 9:857-870.

Buskey, E.J., C.G. Mann and E. Swift. 1986. The shadow response of the estuarine copepod Acartia tonsa. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 103:65-75.

Buskey, E.J. and E. Swift. 1985. Behavioral responses of oceanic zooplankton to simulated bioluminescence. Biol. Bull. 168:263-275.

Buskey, E.J. 1984. Swimming pattern as an indicator of the roles of copepod sensory systems in the recognition of food. Mar. Biol. 79:165-175.

Buskey, E.J. and E. Swift. 1983. Behavioral responses of the coastal copepod Acartia hudsonica to simulated dinoflagellate bioluminescence. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 72:43-58.

Buskey, E.J., L. Mills and E. Swift. 1983. The effects of dinoflagellate bioluminescence on the swimming behavior of a marine copepod. Limnol. Oceanogr. 28:575-579.

Sullivan, B.K., E.J. Buskey, P.J. Ritacco and D.C. Miller. 1983. Effects of metals on growth, swimming and predator-prey interactions in Eurytemora affinis. Mar. Biol. 77:299-306.