Welcome to the Menden-Deuer Lab

We are plankton ecologists who conduct hypothesis driven experiments in the laboratory, at sea and in silico to decipher patterns and processes that drive plankton abundance and distribution. Plankton make planet Earth habitable and are central conduits of globally relevant processes, including the carbon cycle. Our goal is to understand what makes plankton tick to predict their role in marine ecosystems now and in the future. If images seem particularly beautiful on these pages, they are most likely created by Cynthia Beth Rubin.


  • Action-Packed Week at Ocean Races - Our lab taught students the relevance and excitement of plankton at North America’s only stop for the Ocean Race (https://www.theoceanrace.com/). During this 1 1/2 week stop Rickie and Pierre with help from Dr. Rynearson’s lab showcased freshly caught plankton under a microscope and hosted interactive activities. Take a peek at the photo to see how […]
  • Rickie Receives Award for Upcoming Cruise - Rickie was recently awarded funds from the GSO Alum Fund (https://web.uri.edu/gso/research/alum-fund-awardees/) to support her research for an upcoming cruise that will follow an upwelling plume along Oregon and California as part of the PUPCYCLE project. Rickie will test her own hypotheses and collaborate with others to learn more about how primary production in upwelled waters […]
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