David M. Fields

Associate Research Scientist

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
60 Bigelow Drive
P.O. Box 380 East Boothbay, ME
USA 04544
Tel. 1-202-747-3255, ext. 313
Email: dfields@bigelow.org

See David’s profile on the Bigelow Lab web site HERE
See David’s ResearchGate profile HERE


Ph.D., Oceanography, State University of New York (1996)
M.S., Oceanography, State University of New York (1991)
B.A., Biology, University of Utah (1986)

Outline of research

Dr. Fields is a zooplankton ecologist. The Fields’ laboratory studies the role of zooplankton (particularly copepods) in transferring organic matter through the food web and in mediating bio-geochemical cycling in the oceans.  Our approach is to understand how the mechanisms that occur at the level of the individual animal drive regional and global scale distribution patterns in zooplankton.  This work incorporates general data of zooplankton ecology (classical grazing experiments, egg production and developmental rates) as well as data from small-scale fluid mechanics, neurophysiology and animal behavior.

Ongoing Research

Sensory ecology and neurophysiology of marine zooplankton.
We study the characteristics of the setal motion (and the required fluid motion and force) that gives rise to the neurophysiological response in copepod mechanoreceptors. The work aims to how copepods differentiate among the myriad of fluid signals in their environment and how copepods code these complex signals in a rapid yet highly accurate manner.

Impact of global climate change on zooplankton populations. We study effects of natural and anthropogenic changes on the energy transfer between trophic levels. Specifically we focus on grazing, respiration, reproduction and fecal pellet production rates of copepods under different climate scenarios.

Active projects

NSF- Bio Oce. Ocean Acidification– Effects of ocean acidification on Emiliania huxleyi and Calanus finmarchicus; insights into the oceanic alkalinity and biological pumps.

NSF- Chem Oce. Assessing the chemical speciation and bioavailability or iron regenerated by marine zooplankton.

NOAA – Implications of ocean acidification on carbon export in a simplified planktonic food chain: Experiments using Acartia and Pleurochrysis.

Moore Foundation – Carbon and gene flow mediated by virus.

Institute of Marine Research, Norway – Effects of ocean acidification on Calanus spp.


Yen, J. and D.M. Fields. 1992. Escape responses of Acartia hudsonica (Copepoda) nauplii from the flow field of Temora longicornis (Copepoda). Erg. der Limnol.: 36:123-134.

Fields, D.M. and J. Yen. 1993. Outer limits and inner structure: the 3-dimensional flow field of Pleuromamma xiphias (Copepoda). Bull. Mar. Sci. 53: 84-95.
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Jonasdottir, S. H., D.M. Fields, and S. Pantoja. 1995. Copepod egg production in Long Island Sound as a function of the chemical composition of seston. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 119: 87-98.
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Fields, D.M. and J. Yen. 1996. The escape behavior of Pleuromamma xiphias from a quantifiable fluid mechanical disturbance. In Lenz, P.H. D.K. Hartline, J.E. Purcell, and D.L. Macmillan. (eds.), Zooplankton: Sensory Ecology and Physiology. Vol. 1, pp. 323-340. Gordan and Breach Publ., Amsterdam.

Fields, D.M. 1996. The Interaction of Calanoid Copepods with a Moving Fluid Environment: Implications for the Role of Feeding Current Morphology in Predator – Prey Interactions. Ph.D. State University of New York. p. 353.

Fields, D.M. and J. Yen. 1997. Implication of copepod feeding currents on the spatial orientation of their prey. J. Plankton Res. 19: 79-85.
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Fields, D.M. and J. Yen. 1997. The escape behavior of marine copepods in response to a quantifiable fluid mechanical disturbance. J. Plankton Res.19: 1289-1304.
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Fields, D.M. 1998. The implications of biologically and physically created fluid motion on the sensory horizon of copepods. Oceanography. 11(2): 26.

Moore, P.A., D.M. Fields, and J. Yen. 1999. The physical constraints of chemoreception in foraging copepods. Limnol. Oceanogr. 44(1): 166-177.
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Gries, T. K Johnk, D.M. Fields and J.R. Strickler. 1999. Size and structure of ‘footprints’ produced by Daphnia: impact of animal size and density gradients. J. Plankton Res. 21:509-523.
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Fields, D.M. 2000.Characteristics of the high frequency escape reactions of Oithona sp. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 34: 21-35.
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Preston, BL, Snell, TW, Fields, DM, Weissburg, MJ. 2001. The effects of fluid motion on toxicant sensitivity of the rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus. Aquatic Toxicology 52(2), 117-131.
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Doall, MH, JR Strickler, DM Fields, J Yen. 2002. Mapping the attack volume of a free-swimming planktonic copepod, Euchaeta rimana. Marine Biology. 140: 871-879.
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Fields, D.M., D. S. Shaeffer, M.J. Weissburg. 2002. Mechanical and neural responses from the mechanosensory hairs on the antennule of Gaussia princeps. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 227:173-186.
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Fields, D.M and J. Yen, 2002. Fluid mechanosensory stimulation of behavior from a planktonic marine copepod Euchaeta rimana Bradford. J. Plankton. Res. 24(8): 747-755.
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Lapesa, S. T.W. Snell, D.M. Fields, M. Serra. 2002 Predatory interactions between a cyclopoid copepod and rotifer sibling species. Freshwater Biology 47: 1685-1695
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Lapesa, S., T.W. Snell, D.M. Fields & M. Serra. 2004. Selective feeding of Arctodiaptomus salinus (Copepoda, Calanaoida) on co-occurring sibling rotifer species. Freshwater Biology 49: 1053-1061.
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Fields, D.M. and M.J. Weissburg. 2004. Rapid firing rates from mechanosensory neurons in copepod antennules. Journal of Comparative Physiology A. 190: 877-882.
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Fields, D.M. and M.J. Weissburg. 2005. Evolutionary and ecological significance of mechanosensor morphology: copepods as a model system. Marine Ecology Progress Series 287: 269-274.
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Fields, D.M., M.J. Weissburg & H.I. Browman. 2007. Chemoreception in the salmon louse (Lepeoptheirus salmonis): an electrophysiological approach. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 78: 161-168.
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Fields, D.M. 2010. Orientation affects the sensitivity of Acartia tonsa to fluid mechanical signals. Marine Biology. 157: 505-514.
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Abrahamsen, M.B., H.I. Browman, D.M. Fields & A.B. Skiftesvik. 2010. The three-dimensional prey field of the northern krill, Meganyctiphanes norvegica, and the escape responses of their copepod prey. Marine Biology 157: 1251-1258.
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Browman, H.I., J. Yen, D.M. Fields, J.-F. St-Pierre & A.B. Skiftesvik. 2011. Fine-scale observations of the predatory behaviour of the carnivorous copepod Paraeuchaeta norvegica and the escape responses of their ichthyoplankton prey, Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Marine Biology 158: 2653-2660.
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Fields,D.M., C.M.F. Durif, R.M. Bjelland, S.D. Shema, A.B. Skiftesvik & H.I. Browman. 2011. Grazing rates of Calanus finmarchicus on diatoms cultured under different levels of ultraviolet radiation. PLoS ONE 6(10) e26333.
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Fields, D.M., S.D. Shema, T.Q. Browne, A.B. Skiftesvik & H.I. Browman. 2012. Light primes the escape response of the Calanoid copepod, Calanus finmarchicus. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39594. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039594.
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Fukunishi, Y., H.I. Browman, C.M.F. Durif, R. Bjelland, S.D. Shema, D.M. Fields, A.B. Skiftesvik. 2013. Sub-lethal exposure to ultraviolet radiation reduces prey consumption by Atlantic cod larvae (Gadus morhua). Marine Biology 160: 2591-2596.
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Fields, D.M. 2014. The sensory horizon of marine copepods, pp: 157-179, In, Seuront, L. (Ed.), Copepods: Diversity, Habitat and Behavior. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
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Nuester, J., S. Shema, A. Vermont, D.M. Fields & B.S. Twinning. 2014. The regeneration of highly bioavailable iron by meso- and microzooplankton. Limnology and Oceanography 59: 1399-1409.
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Fields, D.M., J.A. Runge, C. Thompson, S.D. Shema, R.M. Bjelland, C.M.F. Durif, A.B. Skiftesvik & H.I. Browman. 2015. Infection of the planktonic copepod Calanus finmarchicus by the parasitic dinoflagellate, Blastodinium spp.: effects on grazing, respiration, fecundity, and fecal pellet production. Journal of Plankton Research 37: 211-220.
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Durif, C.M.F., D.M. Fields, H.I. Browman, S.D. Shema, J.R. Enoae, A.B. Skiftesvik, R.M. Bjelland, R. Sommaruga and M.T. Arts. 2015. UV radiation changes algal stoichiometry but does not have cascading effects on a marine food chain. Journal of Plankton Research 37: 1120-1136. (Featured article).
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Runge, J.A., D.M. Fields, C. Thompson, S. Shema, R.M. Bjelland, C.M.F. Durif, A.B. Skiftesvik & H.I. Browman. 2016. End of the century CO2 concentrations do not have a negative effect on vital rates of Calanus finmarchicus, an ecologically critical planktonic species in North Atlantic ecosystems. ICES Journal of Marine Science 73: 937-950.
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Zarubin, M., Y. Lindemann, O. Brunner, D.M. Fields, H.I. Browman and A. Genin. 2016. The effect of hydrostatic pressure on grazing in three calanoid copepods. Journal of Plankton Research 38: 131-138.
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Gilg, Ilana C., Stephen D. Archer, Sheri A. Floge, David M. Fields, Alex I. Vermont, Anna H. Leavitt, William H. Wilson, Joaquín Martínez Martínez. 2016. Differential gene expression is tied to photochemical efficiency reduction in virally-infected Emiliania huxleyi. Marine Ecology Progress Series 555: 13-27.
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Vermont, A.I., Martínez Martínez, J., Waller, J., Gilg, I.C., Leavitt, A.H., Floge, S.A., Archer, S.D., Wilson, W.H., Fields, D.M. 2016. Virus infection of Emiliania huxleyi deters grazing by the copepod Acartia tonsa. Journal of Plankton Research doi:10.1093/plankt/fbw064
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Waller, J., Wahle, R., Fields, D.M. 2016. Linking rising CO2 and temperature to the larval development and physiology of the American lobster (Homarus americanus) ICES  Journal of Marine Science (in press).
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Bailey, A., P. Thor, H.I. Browman, D.M. Fields, J.A. Runge, A. Vermont, R. Bjelland, C. Thompson, S. Shema, C.M.F. Durif & H. Hop. 2017. The early life stages of the Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis are unaffected by increased seawater pCO2. ICES Journal of Marine Science 74: 996-1004.
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Bailey, A., P. de Wit, P. Thor, H.I. Browman, R.M. Bjelland, S. Shema, D.M. Fields, J.A. Runge, C. Thompson & H. Hop. 2017. Regulation of gene expression underpins tolerance of the Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis to increased pCO2. Ecology and Evolution (in press).

Manuscripts submitted for publication

Fields, D.M., H.I. Browman & A.B. Skiftesvik. Behavioural responses of infective-stage copepodids of the salmon louse (Lepeoptheirus salmonis) to host- and non-host-related sensory cues. Journal of Fish Diseases.

Manuscripts in preparation

Fields, D.M., H.I. Browman, A.B. Skiftesvik & S. Shema. Effect of ocean acidification on the grazing rates of Calanus spp. feeding on lithed and delithed coccolithophores.

Fields, D.M., H.I. Browman, A.B. Skiftesvik & S. Shema. Temperature effects on metabolic rate of Calanus spp.

Fields, D.M., H.I. Browman, A.B. Skiftesvik & S. Shema. Effect of ocean acidification on the respiration rates of Calanus finmarchicus.

Fields, D.M., H.I. Browman & B. Twining. Copepods as 10^21 ocean bioreactors.

Incze, L.S., N. Wolff, J. Lerczak, S. Kraus, A. Bauckus, S. Rosen and D.M. Fields. Euphausiid Patches and Surface Feeding by Northern Humpback Whales: Responses to Internal Waves over a Submarine Bank. Marine Ecology Progess Series.

Mellard, J.P, Fields, D.M., Brown, J., Weissburg, M.J., Yen, J. Copepod mechanoreception in viscous fluid environments. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.

Opstad, I., D.M. Fields, H.I. Browman, A.B. Skiftesvik, & S. Shema. Effect of seismic air gun shooting on Calanus finmarchicus.

Last updated: June 13, 2017