RUSALCA Arctic Food Web Structure and Epibenthic Communities in a Climate Change Context

Project Description

The goal of the RUSALCA program is to gather climate quality long-term physical, chemical and biological observations of the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas ecosystems to document the status quo and potential change in this region. We analyze benthic food web structure and epibenthic community as meaningful key variables for long-term climate observations, because they reflect water mass properties and the extent of pelagic-benthic coupling on the Arctic shelf, as well as habitat characteristics (community measure).

Project Funding

Amount: $601,000
Start Date: 2004-06-00
End Date: 2016-06-00


Project posters


Publications and products

Iken K, Bluhm BA, Dunton KH. (2010). "Benthic food web structure under differing water mass properties in the southern Chukchi Sea". Deep Sea Research II. 57:71-85.

Bluhm, B., K. Iken, S.M. Hardy, B. Sirenko, B. Holladay. (2009). "Community structure of epibenthic megafauna in the Chukchi Sea". Aquatic Biology. 7:269-293.



Research Team

Katrin Iken

Katrin Iken

Principal Investigator



  • Trophic interactions and food web analysis
  • Benthic diversity and communities
  • Stable isotope analysis
  • Phycology and invertebrate ecology
  • Shallow water ecology and deep-sea biology
  • Polar marine biology

Full Profile
Co-Principal Investigator

Bodil Bluhm


Research Staff

Carlos Serratos