Select Page

Darcy J. Lonsdale


Ph.D., 1979, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

Ecology and physiology of marine zooplankton; food web dynamics of estuarine and antarctic coastal plankton and the impacts of harmful algal blooms and benthic interaction


Research Interests

My research addresses ecological problems related to marine invertebrates, especially copepods. I have focused on measuring and understanding the significance of variations in life history and physiology among estuarine copepod populations; e.g. as adaptive responses to age-specific mortality and water temperature. To understand the selective forces that may drive life-history variation, I have investigated planktonic trophic interactions, and have demonstrated the importance of predation in zooplankton feeding and population dynamics. I have used both laboratory studies showing the genetic basis of phenotypic variation among copepod populations, and field and modeling studies suggesting environmental factors that influence copepod fitness, to illustrate the significance of life-history variation.

An exciting aspect of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences is the opportunity to develop interdisciplinary projects with other faculty. These collaborations have resulted in new approaches. For example, I am currently involved in a collaborative research effort with Robert Cerrato (SoMAS) and David Caron (University of Southern California) to investigate the potential role of suspension feeding by hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) in preventing blooms of the harmful phytoplankton species Aureococcus anophagefferens in Long Island, NY, bays. We are also interested in the relationship between hard clam feeding and the population dynamics of zooplankton, including heterotrophic protists and copepods.

Selected Publications

Treible, L.M., D.J. Lonsdale, and C.J. Gobler (2014) The role of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in nutrient cycling in Long Island Sound, New York. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. In Press

McNamara, M.E., D.J. Lonsdale, and R.M. Cerrato (2014) Role of eutrophication in structuring planktonic communities in the presence of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. In press

McNamara, M.E. and D.J. Lonsdale (2014) Interannual differences in microplankton drive changes in the feeding and fecundity ofMnemiopsis leidyi in a Long Island estuary. Est. Coast. Shelf Sci. 144:1-7.

McNamara, M.E., D.J. Lonsdale, and R.M. Cerrato (2013) Top-down control of mesozooplankton by adult Mnemiopsis leidyi A. Agassiz 1865 influences microplankton abundance and composition enhancing prey conditions for larval ctenophores. Est. Coast. Shelf Sci. 133:2-10

McNamara, M.E., D.J. Lonsdale, and R.C. Aller (2013) Elemental composition of Mnemiopsis leidyi A. Agassiz 1865 and its implications for nutrient cycling in a Long Island estuary. Est. Coasts 36:1253-1264

Jiang, X., D. Lonsdale, and C. Gobler. 2010. Grazers and vitamins shape chain formation in a bloom-forming dinoflagellate,Cochlodinium polykrikoides. Oecologia 164:455-464

Xiadong, J., D.J. Lonsdale and C.J. Gobler. 2011. Rapid gain and loss of evolutionary resistance to the harmful dinoflagellateCochlodinium polykrikoides in the copepod Acartia tonsa. Limnology & Oceanography 56(3): 947-954.

Jiang, Xiaodong, D.J. Lonsdale, and C.J. Gobler. 2010. Density-dependent nutritional value of the dinoflagellates Cochlodinium polykrikoides to the copepod Acartia tonsa. Limnol. Oceangr. 55:1643-1652

McNamara, M.E., D.J. Lonsdale, and R.M. Cerrato. 2010. Shifting abundance of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidy and the implications for larval bivalve mortality. Mar. Biol. 157:401-412

Jiang, X., Y. Tang, D.J. Lonsdale, and C.J. Gobler (2009) Deleterious consequences of a red tide dinoflagellate Cochlodinium polykrikoides for the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa Dana. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 390:105-116

Lonsdale, D.J., R.M. Cerrato, R. Holland, A. Mass, L. Holt, R.A. Schaffner, J. Pan, and D.A. Caron. 2009. Influence of suspension-feeding bivalves on the pelagic food webs of shallow, coastal embayments. Aquat. Biol. 6:263-279

Vigil, P., P.D. Countway, J. Rose, C.J., D.J. Lonsdale, C.J. Gobler, and D.A. Caron. 2009. Rapid shifts in dominant taxa among microbial eukaryotes in estuarine ecosystems. Aquat. Micro. Ecol. 54:83-100

Smith, J.K., D.J. Lonsdale, C.J. Gobler, and D.A. Caron. 2008. Feeding behavior and development of Acartia tonsa nauplii on the browntide alga Aureococcus anophagefferens. J. Plankton Res. 30:937-950

Lonsdale, D.J., R.M. Cerrato, and D.A. Caron. 2007. Zooplankton changes associated with grazing pressure of northern quahogs (Mercenaria mercenaria L.) in experimental mesocosms. Est. Coast. Shelf Sci. 73:101-110

Lonsdale, D.J., D.I. Greenfield, E.M. Hillebrand, R. Nuzzi, and G.T. Taylor. 2006. Microplanktonic community composition and trophic structure in two Long Island, New York, USA, embayments. J. Plankton Res. 28:891-905

Deonarine, S.N., C.J. Gobler, D.J. Lonsdale, D.A. Caron. 2006. The impact of zooplankton grazing and trophic structure on mortality ofAureococcus anophagefferens in US mid-Atlantic estuaries. Aquat. Micro. Ecol. 44:181-195

Pace, M.L. and D.J. Lonsdale. 2006. Ecology of the Hudson Zooplankton Community. In: The Hudson River Estuary, J.S. Levinton and J. Waldman (eds.), Cambridge University Press, p. 217-229

Gobler, C.J., D.J. Lonsdale, and G.L. Boyer. 2005. A review of the causes, effects, and potential mamagement of harmful brown tides caused by the alga Aureococcus anophagefferens (Hargraves et Sieburth). Estuaries 28:726-749

Greenfield, D.I., D.J. Lonsdale, and R.M. Cerrato. 2005. Linking phytoplankton community composition with juvenile-phase growth in the northern quahog Mercenaria mercenaria (L.). Estuaries 28:241-251

Cerrato, R.M., D.A. Caron, D.J. Lonsdale, J.M. Rose, and R.A. Schaffner. 2004. Experimental approach to examine the effect of the northern quahog, Mercenaria mercenaria, on the development of blooms of the brown tide alga, Aureococcus anophagefferens. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 281:93-108

Caron, D.A., C.J. Gobler, D.J. Lonsdale, R.M. Cerrato, R.A. Schaffner, J.M. Rose, N.J. Buck, G. Taylor, K.R. Boissonneault, and R. Mehran. 2004. Microbial herbivory on the brown tide alga, Aureococcus anophagefferens: Results from natural ecosystems, mesocosms and laboratory experiments. Harmful Algae 3:439-457

Greenfield, D.I., D.J. Lonsdale, R.M. Cerrato, and G.R. Lopez. 2004. Effects of background concentrations of Aureococcus anophagefferens (brown tide) on growth and feeding in the bivalve Mercenaria mercenaria. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 274:171-181

Caron, D.A., R.A. Schaffner, D.M. Moran, M.R. Dennett, D.J. Lonsdale, C.J. Gobler, R. Nuzzi, and R.I. McLean. 2003. Development and application of a monoclonal-antibody technique for counting Aureococcus anophagefferens, an alga causing recurrent brown tides in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Appl. Environ. Micro. 69:5492-5502

Greenfield, D.I. and D.J. Lonsdale. 2002. Mortality and growth of juvenile hard clams, Mercenaria mercenaria, during brown tide. Mar. Biol. 141:1045-1050

Boissonneault-Cellineri K.R., M. Mehta, D.J. Lonsdale, and D.A. Caron. 2001. Microbial food web interactions in two Long Island embayments. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 26: 139-155

Caron D.A., M.R. Dennett, D.J. Lonsdale, D.M. Moran, and L. Shalapyonok. 2002. Microzooplankton herbivory in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Deep-Sea Res. II 47:3249-3272

Lonsdale, D.J., D.A. Caron, M.R. Dennett, and R. Schaffner. 2000. Predation by Oithona spp. on protozooplankton in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Deep-Sea Res II 47: 3273-3283

Frey, M.A., D.J. Lonsdale, and T.W. Snell. 1998. Mate recognition and the role of chemical cues in an harpacticoid copepod. 1998. Philosophical Transactions Royal Society London B 353:745-751

Lonsdale, D.J., R.P. Hassett, F.C. Dobbs, and J. Yen. 1998. Physiological traits associated with a reproductive-resting stage inCoullana canadensis (Copepoda: Harpacticoida). Marine Biology 131:123-131

Lonsdale, D.J., Frey, M.A., Snell, T.W. 1998. The role of chemical signals in copepod reproduction. Journal of Marine Systems 15:1-12

Bricelj, V.M., Lonsdale, D.J. 1997. Aureococcus anophagefferens: causes and ecological consequences of U.S. Mid-Atlantic coastal water “brown tides”. Limnology and Oceanography 42:1023-1038

Lonsdale, D.J., Cosper, E.M., Doall, M. 1996. Effects of zooplankton grazing on phytoplankton size-structure and biomass in the lower Hudson River Estuary. Estuaries 19:874-865

Lonsdale, D.J., Cosper, E.M., Kim, W.-S., Doall, M., Divadeenam, A., Jonasdottir, S.H. 1996. Food web interactions in the plankton of Long Island bays, with preliminary observations on brown tide effects. Marine Ecology Progress Series 134:247-263

Gupta, S., Lonsdale, D.J., D.-P. Wang. 1994. The recruitment patterns of an estuarine copepod: A biological-physical model. Journal of Marine Research 52:687-710

Weissman, P., Lonsdale, D.J., Yen, J. 1993. The effect of peritrich ciliates on the production of Acartia hudsonica (Pinhey) (Copepoda: Calanoida) in Long Island Sound. Limnology and Oceanography 38:613-622

Lonsdale, D.J., Weissman, P., Dobbs, F.C. 1993. A reproductive-resting stage in an harpacticoid copepod, and the significance of genetically based differences among populations. Bulletin of Marine Science 53:180-193

Stony Brook Students Step Up To Study Lake

by Phil Corso - April 14, 2015 Times of Smithtown / Village Times Herald From Geese hang out on the banks of Lake Ronkonkoma. Their waste pollutes the lake. Photo by Phil Corso Long Island’s largest...

Is Climate Change Affecting the Spring Bloom in Long Island Sound?

Seawater temperatures in Long Island Sound appears to be increasing over the past three decades, as has been observed elsewhere along the northeast US coast over the same period. However, the warming has not been consistent year-round. Most of the increase has taken...

Marine Science Lecture Series Continues at Stony Brook Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y., March 19, 2009 – The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and Stony Brook Southampton will present an interesting talk on Antarctic ecosystem in its “Critical Issues Facing the World's Oceans” lecture series. The popular series regularly...

Two SoMAS Graduate Students Win Sigma Xi Awards

On May 14th, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, hosted a luncheon to present awards to outstanding student researchers. SoMAS’ Jessica Dutton and Marianne McNamara received awards. Sigma Xi elects members based on their research potential or achievements and...

Brown Tide Threatens South Shore Says Marine Science Researcher

STONY BROOK, N.Y., June 29, 2000—Brown Tide, the common phrase for a —nuisance algal bloom, is menacing South Shore beaches on Long Island, creating the worst problem of its kind in years, according to leading researchers at the University at Stony Brook. This is the...

Skip to toolbar