Dr Kim Last

Co-Investigator, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)

I am an ecologist interested in the effects of human activities on marine organisms with a particular focus on chronobiology (or how organisms tell the time?).

Over the last few years I have specialised in understanding the daily migrations of zooplankton which constitute one of the biggest daily migrations on the planet. These migrations are important for bringing carbon to the deep ocean floor, thereby buffering the effects of climate change. I apply chronobiological tools to visualise migration behaviours in different environments from fjord to open ocean and have been on many Arctic cruises, mostly during the Polar Night.

I am involved in two NERC CAO projects (Arctic PRIZE and DIAPOD) and in the past was Co-I (with Prof. Finlo Cottier) on the NERC-funded PanArchive project – which led to the publication of the first pan-Arctic assessment of zooplankton responses to moonlight. Recently I have become interested in the underlying molecular mechanisms of migration. Working in collaboration with Prof. Bettina Meyer’s group (at the Alfred Wegner Institute, Germany) and Prof. David Pond (SAMS), we have discovered that the circadian clock (much like our own) appears to be central to zooplankton vertical migrations.

Related Articles

  • The Scots scientists on a nightshift Arctic expedition

    \"An international group of researchers is setting off on a voyage to unlock the dark secrets of the Arctic.\" News item on BBC website by Ken Macdonald. Read more

    04 January 2018
  • Unexpected Life Found at the Bottom of High Arctic Lakes

    \"Warmer temperatures mean the Canadian High Arctic’s shallow lakes are no longer freezing to the bottom, allowing tiny creatures to thrive. Researchers predict these new conditions will be inhospitable to fish and will produce more greenhouse gases.\" Read more

    01 August 2017