Header

Buttons image

 

Henry Ruhl

 

Abyssal benthic fauna inhabit approximately 60% of the Earth’s surface, mediate carbon sequestration processes at a carbon cycle end member, and have poorly understood biological and ecological attributes. The importance of describing such communities is growing as energy, fisheries, and mining activities continue to develop in deeper waters. Understanding contemporary processes will be crucial in evaluating any anthropogenic impacts in the deep-ocean. I am currently conducting collaborative research, to examine tractable questions central to abyssal ecology:

 

What factors are affecting the quantity and quality of sinking organic carbon to abyssal depths from climatic variation to benthic processes?

 

How does variation in the sinking organic carbon food supply affect behavior, population, and community dynamics?


How is the organic carbon food supply utilized and transformed by abyssal fauna?


How can such long-term ecological studies also be utilized to form and revise even basic ideas about deep-sea systems and ecology overall?


How can the remote habitat of the deep-ocean be made more accessible to educators, students, and the public?

 

Additionally I’m helping to coordinate ocean observatory efforts related to ESONET, EMSO, and DELOS. These programs work not only through government grant funded research, but also by collaborating with industry. Such objective collaboration is already leading to outcomes not otherwise possible through academic or industrial research alone.

 

Selected project links:

 

 

VITA

2008-present, Project Manager, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK.
• Long-term ecological research in the abyssal NE Pacific and NE Atlantic
• Energy industry collaboration to evaluate impacts and promote informed resource use
• ESONET Science objectives workpackage leader
• Coordination of NOCS efforts in ESONET, EMSO, and DELOS
• Global assessment of climatic influences on abyssal carbon flux
• Theoretical ecology and modeling
• Molecular phylogeny and population genetics of abyssal echinoderms
• Instrument and methodology development for abyssal benthic research

 

2006-2008. Postdoctoral Fellow, MBARI, Moss Landing, California.
• Deep-sea ecological research with Kenneth L. Smith Jr.
• Energy industry collaboration to evaluate impacts and promote informed resource use
• Abyssal macro - megafaunal community dynamics and bioturbation effects
• Antarctic research on pelagic biogeochemical effects of icebergs

 

2001-2006, Ph.D. in Marine Biology, Scripps, University of California, San Diego.
• Deep-sea ecological research with Kenneth L. Smith Jr.
• Examining links between climate and abyssal processes and communities
• Mentoring and advising of undergraduate students
• Birch Aquarium at Scripps advisory panel member
• Graduate Department faculty teaching assessment committee

 

2005, Teaching Assistant, University of California, San Diego.
• Biological Oceanography with Michael Landry

 

2000, Staff Research Associate, Scripps, University of California, San Diego.
• Antarctic and deep-sea ecological research with Kenneth L. Smith Jr.

 

1998, Hydrology, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC.

 

1996, B.S. in Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
• Environmental Management Certificate
• Aquatic ecosystem focus

 

1994-1999, Biological Science Technician, US Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
• Aquatic vegetation ecology including climatic and hydrologic effects
• Long-term studies in the Chesapeake Bay and South Florida
• Remote sensing and model parameterization and verification
• Two monetary awards for exceptional service

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

• ESONET science objectives workpackage leader (www.esonet-emso.org)
• EMSO Associate scientist (www.esonet-emso.org)
• NSF Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry, 2008 Theme Leader
• NSF Long-Term Ecological Research Program, Associate Scientist
• Deep-Ocean Environmental Long-Term Observatory System
  (www.delos-project.org), Steering Committee Member
• American Association for the Advancement of Science, Member
• Ecological Society of America, Member
• American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Member 2008 special
  session “Long-term ecological research in the deep sea” organizer
• American Geophysical Union, Member
• Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (SIO)
• Deep-Sea Biology (informal organization which meets every three years)

 

JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS


Smith, KL, Jr, HA Ruhl, B J Bett, DSM Billett, RS Lampitt, and RS Kaufmann, 2009. Climate and deep-sea communities, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 46: 19211-19218.


Vardaro, MF, HA Ruhl, and KL Smith Jr, 2009. Climate variation, carbon flux and bioturbation in the abyssal North Pacific, Limnol. Oceanogr. 54: 2081-2088.


Holland, ND, WJ Jones, J Ellena, HA Ruhl, and KL Smith Jr, A new deep-sea species of epibenthic acorn worm (Hemichordata, Enteropneusta), Zoosystema 31: 333-346, 2009.


Ruhl, HA, JA Ellena, and KL Smith Jr, 2008. Connections between climate, food limitation, and carbon cycling in abyssal sediment communities: a long time-series perspective. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 105, 17006–17011.


Smith, KL, Jr, HA Ruhl, RS Kaufmann, and M Kahru, 2008. Tracing abyssal food supply back to upper-ocean processes over a 17-year time series in the northeast Pacific. Limnol. Oceanogr. 53: 2655–2667.


Booth, JA, HA Ruhl, L Lovell, DM Bailey, and KL Smith, Jr, 2008. Population dynamics of NE Pacific abyssal ophiuroids. Marine Biology 154: 933–941.


Ruhl, HA, 2008. Community change in the variable resource habitat of the abyssal NE Pacific. Ecology 89: 991–1000.


Smith, KL, Jr, BH Robison, JJ Helly, RS Kaufmann, HA Ruhl, T Shaw, BS Twining, and M Vernet. 2007. Free-drifting icebergs: hotspots of chemical and biological enrichment in the Weddell Sea. Science 347: 478-482.


Ruhl, HA, 2007. Abundance and size distribution dynamics of abyssal epibenthic megafauna in the northeast Pacific. Ecology 88: 1250-1262.


Bailey, DM, HA Ruhl,and KL Smith, Jr 2006. Long-term changes in benthopelagic fish abundance in the abyssal N.E. Pacific Ocean. Ecology 87: 549-555.


Smith, Jr, KL, RJ Baldwin, HA Ruhl,M Kahru, BG Mitchell, and RS Kaufmann. 2006. Climate effect on food supply to depths greater than 4000 m in the northeast Pacific. Limnology and Oceanography 51: 166-176.


Smith, Jr, KL, ND Holland, and HA Ruhl.2005. Enteropneust production of spiral fecal trails on the deep-sea Floor observed with time-lapse photography. Deep-Sea Research I 52: 1228-1240.


Ruhl, HA and KL Smith Jr 2004. Shifts in deep-sea community structure linked to climate and food supply. Science 305: 513-515.


Cranmer, TL, HA Ruhl, RJ Baldwin, and RS Kaufmann. 2003. Spatial and temporal variation in the abundance, distribution and population structure of epibenthic megafauna in Port Foster, Deception Island. Deep-Sea Research II 50: 1821-1842.


Kendall, KA, HA Ruhl,and RC Wilson. 2003. Distribution and abundance of marine bird and pinniped populations within Port Foster, Deception Island, Antarctica. Deep-Sea Research II 50: 1873-1888.


Ruhl, HA, PA Hastings, LA Zarubick, RM Jensen, and K Zdzitowiecki. 2003. Fish populations of Port Foster, Deception Island, Antarctica and Vicinity. Deep-Sea Research II 50: 1843-1858.


Rybicki, NB, D McFarland, HA Ruhl,JT Reel, and JW Barko. 2001. Investigations of the availability and survivability of submersed aquatic vegetation propagules in the tidal Potomac River, 1994–95. Estuaries 24: 407-424.

PRESENTATONS

Ruhl, HA, NB Rybicki, and JT Reel, The effects of light on tuber production of Hydrilla verticillata and Vallisneria americana. Abstract, in: Fourteenth Biennial Estuarine Research Federation International Conference Abstracts, p.159, 1997.


Ruhl, HA, Ocean Observatories, GEOSS Workshop XXVII – Understanding the Integrated Ocean Observation System, Including Sub-surface Sensors, Bremen, Germany, 2009 (Invited presentation).

 

Ruhl, HA, From the Atmosphere to the Abyss: Climate-Driven Variation in Abyssal Food Supplies and Community Structure, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton Friday Seminar, 2008 (Invited presentation).


Ruhl, HA, Climate Change in the Deep Sea, Natural History Museum Seminar, London, 2009 (Invited presentation).


Ruhl, HA, Climate Change in the Deep Sea, DeepSETS Meeting (MarBEF Programme), Gent, Belgium, 2009 (Invited presentation).


Ruhl, HA, Ocean Observatories, CAREX Technology and Infrastructures Workshop, Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain, 2008 (Invited presentation).


Ruhl,HA, Science Objectives and Design of the European Seas Observatory NETwork (ESONET) North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas Tsunami Warning (NEAMTWS) Workshop, Southampton, 2008.


Ruhl, HA, L Géli, J Karstensen, A Colaço, RS Lampitt, J Greinert, O Phannkuche, and Y Auffret, Science Objectives and Design of the European Seas Observatory NETwork (ESONET), European Geophysical Union General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, 2009 (Invited presentation).


Ruhl, HA, R Person, I Puillat, Science Objectives and Design of the European Seas Observatory NETwork (ESONET), American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Nice, France, 2009.


Kuhnz, LA, HA Ruhl, KL Smith Jr., and JP Barry, Tracking Benthic Megafaunal Community Shifts from within Monterey Bay to the Abyssal Northeast Pacific American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Nice, France, 2009.


Smith, K L, Jr., R S Kaufmann, H A Ruhl, and M Kahru, Links Between Detrital Aggregates on the Abyssal Seafloor and Upper-Ocean Processes, National Science Foundation Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Workshop. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, 2008 (Invited as Theme Leader for Climate sensitivity of ecosystem structure and associated impacts on biogeochemical cycles).


Ruhl, HA, JA Ellena, KL Smith Jr., Long-Hypothesized Relationships Between Surface Conditions and Abyssal Macrofauna Communities Supported in Ten-Year Study at Northeast Pacific Site, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Ocean Sciences Meeting. Orlando, FL, 2008.


Smith, KL, Jr., RS Kaufmann, HA Ruhl, M Kahru, Detrital Aggregate Coverage on the Deep-Sea Floor in the Northeastern Pacific over a 17-Year Period. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, 2008.


Kahn, AS, KL Smith Jr., HA Ruhl, Temporal Changes in the Population Structure and Reproductive Strategies of Two Benthic Sponges in the Abyssal Northeast Pacific, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, 2008.


Bagley, PM, KL Smith Jr., BJ Bett, IG Priede, GT Rowe, HA Ruhl, DM Bailey, J Clarke, A Walls, Deep Ocean Enviriomental Long-Term Observatory System (DELOS): Initiation of 25 Year Study of Deep-Ocean Ecology Near Offshore Hydrocarbon Operations, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, 2008.


Ruhl, HA, JA Ellena, MD Ohman, and KL Smith Jr. Estimating Interannual Climate Variation Impacts on an Abyssal Macrofauna Community Dynamics in the NE Pacific. National Science Foundation Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Workshop. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, 2007.

 

Ruhl, HA, and KL Smith Jr., Contemporary climatic connections to abyssal ecology in the NE Pacific. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Sante Fe, NM, 2007.


Ruhl, HA, and KL Smith Jr., Climatic Links to Abyssal Megafauna Populations in the NE Pacific, 6th Long-Term Ecological Research All-Scientists Meeting, Estes Park, CO, 2006.


Ruhl, HA, and KL Smith, Jr. Abyssal megafaunal community responses to interannual climate fluctuation in the NE Pacific, 11th Intern. Deep-sea Biology Symposium. Southampton, UK.  p. 74, 2006.

 

Ruhl, HA, and KL Smith, Jr., Variation in deep-sea epibenthic megafauna distribution and abundance, and particle flux in the NE Pacific. Abstract, in: 10th Deep-sea biology symposium, p. 36, 2003.


Schaffranek RW, HA Ruhl,and ME Hansler, An overview of the Southern Inland and Coastal System Project of the US Geological Survey South Florida Ecosystem Program, in: The Proceedings of the Third International Ecohydraulics Symposium, 1999.


Ruhl, HA, NB Rybicki, V Carter, and J T Reel, Epiphyte growth, water quality, and submersed aquatic plants in the tidal Potomac River and estuary, Poster Session, in: Ecological Society of America 1998 Annual Meeting Abstracts, p.211, 1998.


Ruhl, HA, NB Rybicki, and JT Reel, Light effects on tuber production. Abstract, in: Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America Vol. 78 (4), p.305, 1997.

REPORTS

Bagley P, L Hastie, S Osterhus, H Ruhl, R Lampitt, K Larkin, V Lykousis, M Priede, L Coppola, Report on the Current and future potential to link with industry, EU Seventh Framework Project EuroSITES, 10p., 2009.

 

Hastie, L, et al. Seafloor observatories in Europe, EU Seventh Framework Project EuroSITES, 2009.

 

Ruhl, HA, Oceanographic observing systems, NOCS thematic project document for circulation to potential industrial partners, 2009.


Bagley, PM, KL Smith, B Bett, IG Priede, G Rowe, J Clarke, A Walls, HA Ruhl, and DM Bailey, The DELOS project; long-term observatories in an oil field environment in the Tropical Atlantic Ocean, Ocean Observatories (book), ed. P. Favali et al., (in review).


Ruhl, HA, L Géli, Y Auffret, and J Grienert, Science Modules of the European Seas Observatory NETwork (ESONET) EU Sixth Framework Project contract no. 036851. 38p., 2009.


Ruhl, HA, L Geli, A Colaço, J Karstensen, RS Lampitt, Science Objectives and Design of the European Seas Observatory NETwork (ESONET), EU Sixth Framework Project contract no. 036851. 38p., 2008.


Larkin K, HA Ruhl, et al., Benthic biology time-series in the deep sea: Indicators of change, OceanObs’09 white paper, Venice, Italy, 2009.


Carter, V, JM Landwehr, NB Rybicki, JT Reel, and HA Ruhl, 2008, Linkages among submersed aquatic vegetation, nutrients, river discharge and weather in the tidal Potomac River and Estuary, in Buchanan, C., ed., Tidal Potomac River Integrated Analysis: Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.


Rybicki, NB, JT Reel, HA Ruhl, PT Gammon, and V Carter, Vegetative resistance to flow in South Florida: summary of vegetation sampling in Taylor Sough, Everglades National Park, September 1997-July 1998, US Geological Survey Open File Report-01-102, 117p, 2001.


Rybicki, NB, JT Reel, HA Ruhl,PT Gammon, V Carter, and JK Lee, Sawgrass density, biomass, and leaf area index: a flume study in support of research on wind sheltering effects in the Florida Everglades, US Geological Survey Open File Report-00-172, 48p., 2000.


Carter, V, JT Reel, NB Rybicki, HA Ruhl,PT Gammon, and JK Lee, Vegetative resistance to flow in South Florida: a summary of vegetation sampling at sites NESRS3 and P33, Shark River Slough, November, 1996, US Geological Survey Open File Report-99-218, 73p., 1999.


Carter, V, HA Ruhl,NB Rybicki, JT Reel, and PT Gammon, Vegetative resistance to flow in South Florida: a summary of vegetation sampling at sites NESRS3 and P33, Shark River Slough, April, 1996, US Geological Survey Open File Report-99-187, 73p. 1999.


Carter, V, NB Rybicki, JT Reel, HA Ruhl,and JK Lee, Vegetative characterization for Everglades studies, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-181, p. I0-II, 1999.


Landwehr, JM, JT Reel, NB Rybicki, HA Ruhl, and V Carter, Chesapeake Bay habitat criteria scores and the distribution and abundance of submersed aquatic vegetation in the tidal Potomac River and Potomac Estuary, 1983-1997. United States Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-219. 34 pp., 1999.


Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRP). Tidal Potomac Integrative Project, ICPRB Report 99-4, 1999.


Ruhl, HA, NB Rybicki, JT Reel, and V Carter, Submersed aquatic vegetation and Hydrilla verticillata distribution and abundance for the tidal Potomac River, Maryland, Virginia, and The District of Columbia, 1993-1998. US Geological Survey Open File Report-99-233, 37p., 1999.


Ruhl, HA, and RW Schaffranek, The Southern Inland and Coastal System Project of the USGS South Florida Ecosystem Program. USGS Bulletin., 1999.


Rybicki, NB, JT Reel, HA Ruhl,PT Gammon, V Carter, and J K Lee, Biomass and vegetative characteristics of sawgrass grown in a tilting flume as part of a study of vegetative resistance to flow, US Geological Survey Open File Report-99-230, 29p, 1999.


Rybicki, NB, HA Ruhl,JT Reel and V Carter, A survey of potential dredge disposal sites for the tidal Potomac River between Washington, D.C. and the Route 301 Bridge. US Geological Survey Open File Report-99-234, 12p., 1999.


Carter, V, NB Rybicki, JM Landwehr, JT Reel, and HA Ruhl, Correlations among seasonal water quality, discharge, weather, and coverage by submersed aquatic vegetation in the Tidal Potomac River and Estuary, 1983-96. US Geological Survey Open File Report-99-657, 81p., 1998.

SELECTED NEWS MEDIA ITEMS

Howlett, R, Climate variability impacts the deep sea, EurekAlert, 2009.

Fulton-Bennett, K, Deep-sea ecosystems affected by climate change, MBARI, 2009.

Brahic, C, Life in the abyss is no protection from bad weather, New Scientist, 2008.

 

Scientists show how surface climate affects deep-sea animals, Planet Earth, 2008.

Lemonick, M. D. Islands of Life. Time Magazine, 2007.

 

Schmid, R. E. Drifting icebergs are hotspots of life. Associated Press, 2007.

 

Study: Icebergs create ocean ‘hot spots’. United Press International, 2007.

 

Antarctic icebergs: Unlikely oases for ocean life. National Science Foundation, 2007.

 

Bakalar, N. Deep, deep down, fish are booming, study says. National Geographic, 2006.

 

Dilba, D. Fischboom in 4000 meter tiefe. Spiegel, 2006.

 

Dybas, C. Ecological change, climate variation addressed at international conference Sept. 20-24. National Science Foundation, 2006.

 

Ingram, J. Bizarre creatures from the abyss. Discovery Channel (US & Canada), 2006.

 

Nielson, J. Down deep, an unexpected fish boom. National Public Radio, 2006.

 

Williams, M.M. Year in science, 58: Surface weather affects life at bottom of the sea. Discover, 2005.

Footer
DEEPSEAS Home DEEPSEAS Research DEEPSEAS Team