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Elena Conser 2022

Elena Conser

Graduate Student
Department of Integrative Biology

Elena Conser

Graduate Student
Department of Integrative Biology


Advised by Su Sponaugle

The waters off the Oregon coast are enriched in the summer through the process of upwelling, where nutrient-rich yet oxygen-poor waters replenish wind-displaced surface waters. This enrichment supports the economically important fisheries of the region, yet also results in the development of seasonal low environmental oxygen near the seafloor, known as hypoxia. My dissertation research approaches questions about the influence of these hypoxic events on the plankton communities, in particular focusing on the early life stages of fish.

Most marine fishes have a complex life cycle, where eggs are spawned into the water column where they hatch into larvae. These tiny fish must contend to survive in a highly dynamic environment, avoiding predators and locating prey, growing and developing to join the adult populations. Although seasonal hypoxia manifests near the seafloor, larval fish in the water column are indirectly affected through the reduction of oxygenated habitat and changes in predator-prey overlap. Using high-resolution in situ imagery paired with biological sampling, I aim to improve our understanding of how hypoxia affects the early life stages of fish off the Oregon coast.


Courses Taught

  • BI 221, BI 222, BI 223 - Principles of Biology Series



B.S. Marine and Atmospheric Sciences - Marine Science, Biology, Applied Math- University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, 2019


  • 2022 NSF Graduate Research Fellow 2022 Mamie Markham Endowment Awardee