Sarah Hardy

Sarah Hardy

Associate Professor

Biological Oceanography
Marine Biology
Marine Ecology
Marine Invertebrates

College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
233 Irving II
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220

Office Hours

Tuesday & Friday
1:00–2:00 pm
or by appointment
233 Irving II


University of Hawaii
Ph.D. Oceanography

San Francisco State University
M.S. Marine Biology

University of California, Santa Cruz
B.S. Marine Biology


Curriculum Vitae





Selected Publications

Sloan, L.M., and S.M. Hardy. (2017). "Larval biology and environmental tolerances of the king crab parasite Briarosaccus regalis". Journal of Parasitology. 103(1):22–31.
doi: 10.1645/16-51

Hardy, S.M., C.R. Smith, A.M. Thurnherr. (2015). "Can the source–sink hypothesis explain macrofaunal abundance patterns in the abyss? A modelling test". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 282
doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0193

Wedding, L.M., S.M. Reiter, C.R. Smith, K.M. Gjerde, J.N. Kittinger, A.M. Friedlander, S.D. Gaines, M.R. Clark, A.M. Thurnherr, S.M. Hardy, L.B. Crowder. (2015). "Managing mining of the deep seabed". Science. 349:144-145.

Albrecht, G.T., A.E. Valentin, K.J. Hundertmark, S.M. Hardy. (2014). "Panmixia in Alaskan populations of the snow crab, Chionoecetes opilio (Malacostraca, Decapoda) in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas". Journal of Crustacean Biology. 4(1):31-39.

L. M. Wedding, A. M. Friedlander, J. N. Kittinger, L. Watling, S. D. Gaines, M. Bennett, S. M. Hardy and C. R. Smith. (2013) "From principles to practice: a spatial approach to systematic conservation planning in the deep sea". Proc R Soc B. 280:
doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1684

C. M. Carr, S. M. Hardy, T. Brown, T. MacDonald and P. D. N. Hebert. (2011). "A tri-oceanic perspective: DNA barcoding reveals geographic structure and cryptic diversity in Canadian polychaetes". PLoS One. 6(7):e22232.

Hardy, S.M., C. Carr, M. Hardman, D. Steinke, E. Corstorphine, C. Mah. (2011). "Biodiversity and phylogeography of Arctic marine fauna: Insights from molecular tools". Marine Biodiversity. 41(1):195-210.

L. Neal, S. L. M. Hardy, C. R. Smith and A. G. Glover. (2011). "Polychaete species diversity on the West Antarctic Peninsula deep continental shelf". Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 428:119-134.

Neal, L., S.M. Hardy, C.R. Smith, A.G. Glover. (2011). "Polychaete species diversity on the deep Antarctic shelf". Marine Ecology Progress Series. 428:119-134.

S. Hardy, C. Carr, M. Hardman, D. Steinke, E. Corstorphine and C. Mah. (2011). "Biodiversity and phylogeography of Arctic marine fauna: insights from molecular tools". Marine Biodiversity. 41(1):195-210-210.
doi: 10.1007/s12526-010-0056-x

S. M. Hardy, M. Lindgren, H. Konakanchi and F. Huettmann. (2011). "Predicting the Distribution and Ecological Niche of Unexploited Snow Crab (Chionoecetes opilio)"." Populations in Alaskan Waters: A First Open-Access Ensemble Model Integrative and Comparative Biology. 51(4):608-622.

C. R. McClain and S. M. Hardy. (2010). "The dynamics of biogeographic ranges in the deep sea". Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 277(1700):3533-3546.
doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1057


  • Benthic-pelagic coupling
  • Polar marine ecology
  • Reproduction and life-history strategies of marine invertebrates
  • Trophic interactions
  • Lipid and stable isotope analysis
  • Ecology of soft-sediment habitats


Research Overview

My research touches on a broad range of topics in benthic ecology. I am particularly interested in coupling between pelagic and benthic processes, including how patterns in surface-ocean primary production impact benthic organisms in/on the underlying sediments that depend on flux of detritus from above. For example, how is the nutritional value of phytodetritus changing in time and space, and what are the consequences for benthic deposit feeders? I am also interested in reproduction and life-history strategies of benthic invertebrates, and particularly how diet affects reproductive success. Other research projects apply molecular tools in studying biodiversity, community structure, and patterns of connectivity among benthic communities.


Current Research Projects

  • North Pacific waters are exhibiting shifts in composition of phytoplankton assemblages. Biochemical profiles differ among algal groups, particularly with respect to fatty acid composition, suggesting such shifts may cause changes in nutritional value of algal detritus available to consumers. Some essential fatty acids are important dietary requirements for production of eggs and development of larvae in marine invertebrates. We are investigating effects of differing algal diets on reproductive output and larval development in a commercially-harvested sea cucumbers, including investigation of fatty acids provisioned to eggs prior to spawning, and effects of maternal diet on larval development and survival.
  • Assessing benthic meiofaunal community structure in the Alaskan Arctic: A high-throughput DNA sequencing approach (North Pacific Research Board)
    We are conducting surveys of abundance and diversity of benthic meiofaunal invertebrates in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas using high-throughput gene sequencing approaches. These surveys will provide essential baseline data for monitoring climate-change effects and impacts of disturbance from mineral resource extraction activities. Sediment communities are ideally suited to tracking long-term change because they tend to dampen short-term seasonal or interannual “noise” in many environmental characteristics (e.g., primary production, hydrographic features). DNA-based approaches allow for rapid assessment of meiofaunal community structure and diversity.
  • US-Canada Transboundary Fish and Lower Trophic Communities (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)
    The overall goal of this project is to survey fish and essential fish habitat in the eastern part of the Beaufort Sea Outer Continental Shelf Planning Area. We are collaborating with scientists from Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada in data collection and analysis. Goals include documentation of fish and invertebrate abundance, distribution, and habitat. My group is responsible for analysis of sediment infauna, measurements of sediment characteristics and organic matter content, and fatty acid analysis of select taxa for incorporation into food web models.