Contact InformationInstitute of Marine Science
P.O. Box 757220
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220
Phone: (907) 474-7842
Fax: (907) 474-7204
Russell Hopcroft Full Professor
- Greenland Climate Research Center
- zooplankton ecology
- midwater ecology
Office HoursDaily 3:15-4:00
My primary interests focus on the composition, production and energy flow of pelagic ecosystems. More simply, my research explores the questions "How do planktonic communities work?", "How much energy do they process?", "Who's really important?", "How do communities vary temporally and spatially", and increasingly "How do communities change in response to climate". I am also recognized as a taxonomic authority on several groups of zooplankton globally, and for Arctic zooplanktonic biodiversity in general.
My research efforts have often focused on determining the rates of growth and egg production for the dominant zooplankton (copepod and euphausiid crustaceans), such as in the Gulf of Alaska within the Northeast Pacific GLOBEC program. The ultimate purpose of this research is to establish the rates of secondary production for this region. In conjunction with the long-term observation program funded by NSF 1997-2004 and still continuing through NPRB, AOOS and NOAA, the goal is to establish the production of the more dominant zooplankton species, how this varies from year to year, or long-term, and how this may influence fisheries production.
At present, the majority of my research is focused on the Arctic Ocean. With NOAA's Ocean Exploration program an ROV was used in conjunction with traditional plankton nets to explore the full spectrum of zooplankton including the more fragile gelatinous plankton in the western Arctic in 2002 and 2005. I continue to be involved in joint US/Russian cruises in the Chukchi Sea north of Bering Strait. Environnmental baseline studies for industry in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas are also ongoing. Other projects are working to consolidate zooplankont data throughout the arctic and model the distribution of key zooplankton species over the past decades.
I am actively involved in the Census of Marine Life through steering committees of the Arctic Ocean Diversity project (ArcOD), the Census of Marine Zooplankton (CMarZ), and the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML). Images of live zooplankton collected on these activities are widely distributed. All these activities contribute to ongoing global efforts for molecular barcoding of every zooplankton species.
Current Research Projects
- Larvaceans and pteropods in the Coastal Gulf of Alaska (SeaGrant)
- A synthesis and retrospective analysis of zooplankton communities (NSF/NPRB)
- Chukchi Sea Environmental Program (ConocoPhillips, Shell, StatOil )
- Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (NPRB)
- Arctic Ocean Biodiversity (ArcOD)
- RUSALCA (NOAA)
- Seward Line Long-term Observation Program (NPRB/AOOS/NOAA)
Hopcroft in the news
2005 NOAA Ocean Exploration of the Hidden Ocean
Read about the expedition that discovered a new species in the Arctic Ocean.
2002 NOAA Ocean Exploration expedition of the Arctic Ocean's Canada Basin
Read the National Geographic article and see photos of the expedition online.
The Hidden Ocean: Explorations under the ice of the Western Arctic
An expedition to explore the midwater fauna using the Global Surveyor ROV
Drifting houses in the Gulf Stream
An expedition with the Johnson Sea-Link Submersible to study midwater larvaceans.
The house that snot built
A feature from the Alaska Sea Grant Arctic Science Journeys, about larvaceans in marine ecosystems.
Kosobokova, K.N., H.-J. Hirche & R.R. Hopcroft. 2011. Patterns of zooplankton diversity through the depths of the Arctic’s central basins. Mar. Biodiv. 41: 29-50
Jennings, R.M., A. Bucklin, H. Ossenbrügger, R.R. Hopcroft. 2010 Species diversity of planktonic gastropods (Pteropoda and Heteropoda) from six ocean regions based on DNA barcode analysis. Deep-Sea Res. II. 57: 2199-2210.
Bucklin, A., R.R. Hopcroft, K.N. Kosobokova, L.M. Nigro, B.D. Ortman, C.J. Sweetman and R.M. Jennings. 2010. DNA barcoding of Arctic Ocean holozooplankton for species identification and recognition. Deep-Sea Res. II. 57:40-48
Hopcroft, R.R., K.N. Kosobokova & A.I. Pinchuk. 2010. Zooplankton community patterns in the Chukchi Sea during summer 2004. Deep-Sea Res. II. 57:27-39
Raskoff, K.A., R.R. Hopcroft, K.N. Kosobokova, J.E. Purcell & M. Youngbluth. 2010. Jellies under ice: ROV observations from the 2005 Hidden Ocean Expedition. Deep-Sea Res. II. 57:111-126
Tsagkogeorga, G., Turon, X., Hopcroft, R.R., Tilak, M.-K., Feldstein, T., Shenkar, N., Loya, Y., Huchon, D., Douzery, E.J., and Delsuc, F. 2009. An updated 18S rRNA phylogeny of tunicates based on mixture and secondary structure models. BMC Evol. Biol. 9:187.
Bell, J.L., & R.R. Hopcroft. 2008. Assessment of ZooImage as a tool for the classification of zooplankton. J. Plankton Res. 30: 1351-1367
Pinchuk, A.I., K.O. Coyle & R.R. Hopcroft. 2008. Climate-related variability in abundance and reproduction of euphausiids in the northern Gulf of Alaska in 1998-2003. Prog. Oceanogr.77: 203-216.
Kosobokova, K.N., H.-J. Hirche & R.R. Hopcroft. 2007. Egg production of deep-water copepods in the Arctic Ocean. Mar. Biol. 151:919-934.
Pinchuk, A.I. & R.R. Hopcroft. 2007. Seasonal variations in the growth rate of euphausiids (Thysanoessa inermis, T. spinifera, and Euphausia pacifica) from the northern Gulf of Alaska. Mar. Biol. 151: 257-269
Kimmerer, W.J., A.G. Hirst, R.R. Hopcroft, & A.D. McKinnon. 2007. Measurement of juvenile copepod growth rates: corrections, inter-comparisons and recommendations. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 336:187-202.
Liu, H. & R.R. Hopcroft. 2006. Growth and development of Metridia pacifica in the northern Gulf of Alaska. J. Plankton Res. 28: 769-781
Liu, H. & R.R. Hopcroft. 2006. Growth and development of Neocalanus flemingeri/plumchrus in the northern Gulf of Alaska: validation of the artificial cohort method in cold waters. J. Plankton Res. 28: 87-101.
Hopcroft, R.R., & B.H. Robison. 2005. New mesopelagic larvaceans in the genus Fritillaria from Monterey Bay, California. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. 85: 665-678.
Napp, J.M., R.R. Hopcroft, C.T. Baier & C. Clarke 2005. Distribution and species-specific egg production of Pseudocalanus in the Gulf of Alaska. J. Plankton Res.27: 415-426.
Hopcroft, R.R., C. Clarke, A.G. Byrd & A.I. Pinchuk 2005 The paradox of Metridia spp. egg production rates: A new technique and measurements from the coastal Gulf of Alaska. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 286: 193-201.
Hopcroft, R.R., C. Clarke, R.J. Nelson, & K.A. Raskoff 2005 Zooplankton Communities of the Arctic's Canada Basin: the contribution by smaller taxa. Polar Biol. 28: 197-206.
Hopcroft, R.R. (2005) Diversity in larvaceans: How many species? In: Response of marine ecosystems to global change: ecological impact of appendicularians. Gorsky, M.J. Youngbluth & D. Deibel (eds), NATO scientific Series. Gordon Scientific Publishers, pp. 45-57.
Nielsen, T.G., E.F. Møller, S. Satapoomin, M. Ringuette & R.R. Hopcroft. 2002. Egg hatching rate of the cyclopoid copepod Oithona similis in arctic and temperate waters. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 236:301-306. [PDF]
see CV for full list of publications and works in review