PhD Biological Oceanography

My research focuses on using zooplankton size distributions to understand the implications of climate change on fisheries productivity. I’m particularly interested in long term zooplankton time series and how we can use them to validate and compare different modeling and experimental approaches to quantifying zooplankton production.

Thesis Topic

Zooplankton play a key role in the World’s oceans, acting as the fundamental link between phytoplankton and commercially valuable fisheries. These highly diverse ubiquitous organisms provide an important source of nutrition for a myriad of marine organisms. Past estimates of secondary production (zooplankton production) have proven to be labor intensive and overall inadequate in the past. My research focuses on estimating secondary production using zooplankton size distribution. Since marine pelagic food webs are largely size structured, and important rates (i.e., growth, mortality) scale with size, we can actually use size distribution to predict secondary production. I am currently working on combining zooplankton net-samples and laser optical particle counter (LOPC) with multi-frequency acoustics data collected by DFO on the Line P and LaPerouse voyages to estimate secondary production.


Supervisor(s) Name(s)
Evgeny Pakhomov
Research Funding and Partners

NSERC CGS-D Alexander Graham Bell Canada

University of British Columbia Four Year Fellowship (2018)

WH Mathews Award (2016)

Kit Malkin Scholarship (2016)

NSERC Strategic Grant (Dr.Philippe Tortell)

NSERC Discovery Grant (Dr. Evgeny Pakhomov)

Australian Research Council (ARC Grant)



N. Henschke, E.A Pakhomov, L.E Kwong, J.D. Everett, L. Laiolo, A.R. Coghlan, I.M. Suthers. 2019. Large Vertical Migrations of Pyrosoma atlanticum Play an Important Role in Active Carbon Transport. J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosciences 124(5): 1056-1070.

Pakhomov, E.A., Y. Podeswa, B.P.V. Hunt, L.E. Kwong, 2018. Active carbon transport by pelagic decapods in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 76(3): 702-717.

Kwong, L.E., Pakhomov, E.A., Suntsov, A.V., Seki, M.P., Brodeur, R.D., Pakhomova, L.G., Domokos, R. 2018. An intercomparison of the taxonomic and size composition of tropical macrozooplankton and micronekton collected using three sampling gears. Deep-Sea Res. I 135, 34-45.

Kwong, L.E., Pakhomov, E.A. 2017. Assessment of active vertical carbon transport: new methodology. Scientific Memoirs of the Kazan State University. Natural Sciences Series.

Conference Proceedings

Kwong, L.E., Hunt, B., Pakhomov, E. 2016. A novel approach to estimating active carbon transport using the biomass size spectra. PICES 2016 Annual Meeting, San Diego CA, USA. Award for Best Poster Presentation by the Biological Oceanography Committee.

Kwong, L.E., Hunt, B., Pakhomov, E. 2016. A novel approach to estimating active carbon transport using the biomass size spectra. PICES/ICES 6th Annual Zooplankton Symposium, Bergen, Norway.