Jaide Phelps

Jaide Phelps

M.S. Student

Marine Biology


2150 Koyukuk Drive
218 O'Neill
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775
jtphelps@alaska.edu

 
Education

University of Wyoming
B.S. Biology
2018

 

Thesis

The effect of sedimentation on spore settlement and recruitment of the endemic arctic kelp, Laminaria solidungula (L. solidungula)

 

Advisor

 

Biography

I earned my B.S. degree in Biology at the University of Wyoming (UW) in 2018. Since then my love for aquatic sciences has led me to work in three freshwater ecology labs at UW and participate in a variety of research projects there. In the summer of 2018 I worked under Dr. Amy Krist as a field technician and assisted with graduate research focusing on zooplankton assemblages in Wyoming alpine lakes. I acted as lab manager in a stream ecology lab under Dr. Sarah Collins and in a fisheries biology lab under Dr. Willie Fetzer, where I expanded my knowledge in the field of trophic ecology and processed thousands of biological samples for stable isotope analysis. In addition, I was able to work as a research assistant on a project focusing on detection of SARS COV-2 in Wyoming wastewater using molecular tools. I began graduate school at UAF in 2021 and am working under Dr. Katrin Iken to fulfill my lifelong dream of studying marine science and pursue a career in marine science education.

Research Overview

My research aims to determine the effect of sedimentation on the attachment of kelp spores to hard substrate through a series of lab experiments. Kelp are foundation species in Arctic benthic ecosystems that provide numerous ecosystem services, including habitat provision, nutrient cycling, and carbon sequestration. My study species, Laminaria solidungula (L.solidungula), is endemic to the Arctic and is the dominant foundation species in many Arctic kelp bed communities. Because these kelp require hard substrate to successfully establish and grow, increasing sedimentation rates in the Arctic due to climatic and anthropogenic stressors are a concern for L. solidungula abundance and distribution in the future. Sediments are known to cause spore mortality in other kelp species through burial and scouring mechanisms that prevent the spores from settling. Studying how sedimentation affects early life stages of kelp could help determine future health and survival of kelp bed communities in Arctic nearshore ecosystems during a time of rapid environmental change.

 

Certifications

  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver