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School of Earth & Ocean Sciences
- Ecology and biogeochemistry of deep-sea hydrothermal vents
Microbes matter - we don't see them but we couldn't live without them, says Kim Juniper, an internationally renowned marine ecologist who studies how seasonal and climatic cycles affect the ecology of the ocean floor.
Trained in marine microbiology, Dr. Juniper is well-known for his primary research on the biogeochemistry and ecology of submarine hydrothermal vents.
His work uncovered that high-temperature bacteria decompose the toxic chemicals emitted by the vents, providing energy and nutrients for lush biological communities to thrive there.
More recently, his area of research involves the innovative use of new generations of underwater sensors and imaging devices centrally-controlled at UVic's leading underwater observatories VENUS and NEPTUNE, where he directs the scientific research teams.
Partnered with Oceans Network Canada, NEPTUNE is a ring of six research stations off the west coast of Vancouver Island, connected in real-time on the Internet through fibre optic cables. VENUS, its sister project, has deep sea installations located near Victoria and Vancouver.
One laboratory project aims at better understanding the nitrogen cycle in the ocean, starting with plankton - tiny drifting plants and animals that consume nitrogen for productivity. When plankton sink to the ocean floor, they become the primary food source for seafloor ecosystems, allowing microbes, fish and marine mammals to grow and diversify.
By tracking live data on how nitrogen or carbon cycles work in today's changing oceans, Dr. Juniper and his team can predict what future oceans will look like and where resources such as fisheries will be.
He is already advising the UN with insights from his research to regulate pressing issues such as deep sea mining and extracting genetic resources from the deep sea.
When with students, Dr. Juniper likes them to make their own discoveries by analyzing real-life data and critically challenging published results.
LinkedIn Kim Juniper http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/kim-juniper/19/210/745
Faces of UVic Research Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFB67lzWK_8
Dr. Juniper is involved in a collaborative geological and biological study of hydrothermal vent systems.
Dr. Juniper is involved in a collaborative study on the response of marine ecosystems to low oxygen stress. Research is underway in Saanich Inlet, a Vancouver Island fjord, and on the continental slope off Vancouver Island. Research uses sensors on Ocean Networks Canada underwater observatory networks, together with observations and sampling by remotely-operated vehicles.
UVic Speakers Bureau
Dr. Juniper is involved in on-going research collaborations with German researchers, studying hydrothermal vents on submarine volcanic arcs in the western and southern Pacific Ocean.
General International Activities
Dr. Juniper is an occasional advisor to the International Seabed Authority on matters related to environmental impact of deep-sea mining.
Countries lived/worked in
Dr. Juniper has lived and worked in New Zealand and France.