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My professional interests revolve around zooplankton with particular emphasis on its phenology and trophic interactions with higher trophic levels, espacially planktivorous seabirds. In my research I use both traditional (nets) and innovative methods (laser optical plankton counter). www.KajaBalazy.com
The availability of food for the zooplanktivorous seabirds, such as an endemic High Arctic alcid, the little auk (Alle alle) is essential for its population status and in consequence for fertilizing nutrient-poor Svalbard tundra. Since the zooplankton composition and concentration vary over time and space on foraging grounds, it is challenging to m...
Rapidly warming Arctic is facing significant shifts in the zooplankton size-spectra manifested as increasing numbers of the small-sized copepod Oithona similis. Here we present a unique continuous data set covering 22 months, on its copepodite structure along with environmental drivers in the Atlantic-influenced high Arctic fjord Isfjorden (Spitsbe...
Copepods of the genus Calanus are the key components of zooplankton. Understanding their response to a changing climate is crucial to predict the functioning of future warmer high‐latitude ecosystems. Although specific Calanus species are morphologically very similar, they have different life strategies and roles in ecosystems. In this study, C. fi...
Populations dynamics of key zooplankton species in the European Arctic, Calanus finmarchicus and Calanus glacialis (hereafter defined as Calanus) may be sensitive to climate changes, which in turn is of great importance for higher trophic levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the complete copepodite structure and dynamics of Calanus popu...
Climate change results in the alteration of the size structure of plankton, which consequently may affect higher trophic levels, such as planktivorous seabirds. In this study Laser Optical Plankton Counter measurements were performed over seven summer seasons (2010–2016) to test the ratio of large versus small zooplankton in relation to environment...
Colonial seabirds from neighbouring breeding aggregations may share foraging grounds or utilize different areas in order to decrease the competition over food resources. In our study, we present the meso-scale variations in the diet composition of zooplanktivorous little auk chicks (Alle alle), based on samples collected over two years in two neigh...
Visually-oriented predators, such as seabirds, are highly light dependent, and thus their presence and activity under continuously dark conditions of Arctic polar night pose a number of questions about the strategies and mechanisms they use to find prey. Here, opportunistic observations of the behaviors of Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia; n = 4) a...
The main goal of the project is to accurately determine the share of two species of Calanus copepods (C. glacialis and C. finmarchicus) in the diet of little auks foraging in areas differently exposed to Atlantification. Both Calanus species, morphologically very similar, until recently were identified mainly on the basis of differences in prosome length. Recent studies have, however, confirmed that their size ranges largely overlap, leading to their misidentification. While molecular methods have been used for the correct taxonomic identification of Calanus in seawater samples, this verification has not yet been carried out in little little auks' diet.