Karen Chan 

Postdoctoral Scholar 

Croucher Foundation Fellow

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


I am a biological oceanographer interested in combining coastal oceanographic processes with intertidal ecology. My research revolves around the theme of how individual experiences affect population and community dynamics. Primarily, my research focuses on the planktonic larvae of marine invertebrates.  

Some research questions that I am working on fall into two interconnected themes:
  1. Impacts of climate change on pelagic-benthic transition of marine invertebrates
  • How do anthropogenic stresses affect larval performance (physiological conditions and behaviors)?
  • What are the population-level implications of these observed non-fatal responses? 
  • What are the potential for adaption in the face of rapid climate change? Are there variations in stress responses within a species? 
     2. Morphology and Functions: behaviors and ecological interactions 
  • Are there biomechanical advantages to common larval form?  
  • How does changes in morphology affect performance?
  • Are there "common rules" that apply to different plankton group? Can we use these rule to inform ecosystem models?