Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Kelsey Archer Barnhill

Research interests:

Deep Sea Ecology, Ocean Exploration, Ocean Acidification, Triple-stressors, Cold-Water Corals, Lophelia pertusa

Career history:

MSc. Tropical Ecology & Management of Natural Resources, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
B.A. Geological Sciences, Minor in Marine Science , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Assistant. University of Oslo. Amplified eDNA from water and sediment samples using PCRs and gel electrophoresis (PI: Dr. Hugo De Boer).
Research Assistant. Universidade Federal do Pará, Brazil. Collected eDNA samples in Amazonian streams to quantify downstream distance target species could be detected. Extracted DNA from water and sediment samples in a molecular lab (PI: Dr. Jonathan Ready).
Research Assistant. Hawai`i Institute of Marine Biology. Snorkeling and boat-based coral reef ecology fieldwork, sediment composition analysis, benthic surveys, and environmental parameter collection. Oversaw/mentored undergraduate and high school interns (PI: Dr. Ku’ulei Rodgers).
Mapping Team Member. Ocean Exploration Trust. Sailed aboard the E/V Nautilus for one month mapping off the US Pacific coast. Stood 8-hour watches, acquiring and processing water column and sea floor data. Used QPS Qimera and Fledermaus to create maps of the sea floor. Provided educational outreach through live video interviews, an article for and social media posts.
Research Assistant.South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Identified, oversaw curation, and entered specimens into a database for the invertebrate fossil collection (PI: Dr. Laurie Anderson).
Ocean Science Intern. Ocean Exploration Trust. Worked aboard E/V Nautilus standing watch for one month during mapping and ROV operations. Logged data, processed ROV samples, collected sub-bottom data, launched XBTs and provided educational outreach via live video feeds back to shore.
Microfossil Intern. American Museum of Natural History. Microfossil collection rehousing, conservation and cataloging. Data entry and updating the online collection database, 3D imaging and 3D printing of Foraminifera CT scans (PI: Bushra Hussaini).
Fossil Preparation Volunteer. San Diego Natural History Museum. Cleaned/prepared invertebrate fossils for curation using hand tools & air scribes. Identified microfossils in loose sediment using a microscope.

Active research projects:

Cold-Water Coral Reef Growth and Loss in a Changing Ocean

My research, Cold-Water Coral Reef Growth and Loss in a Changing Ocean, focuses on triple stressor impacts on Lophelia pertusa. I am currently setting up multiple mesocosms to run year-long experiments on live and dead coral fragments to better understand physiological and structural responses to ocean acidification, warming, and deoxygenation. Once this experiment is completed I will adapt the mesocosm setup to look at short term effects of sedimentation and mine tailings on L. pertusa. Through combining the results of these experiments with analysis of ROV footage to quantify reef Alive:Dead ratios I will be able to create carbonate budget models for projected scenarios.

Recent publications:

Barnhill, K.A.; Bahr, K.D. Coral Resilience at Malauka`a Fringing Reef, Kāneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu after 18 years. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7, 311.

Cormier, M., Bell, K.L.C., Sharuga, S.M., Castillo, C., Conrad, C., Amon, D., Legg, M., Brennan, M.L., Barnhill, K.A., Lovell, L.L., Marranzino, A., Klemperer, S.L., Kane, R. (2017). Exploration of the Southern California Borderland. New Frontiers in Ocean Exploration: The E/V Nautilus, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, and R/V Falkor 2016 Field Season. Oceanography 30(1), supplement 40-41.

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