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Peter Gaube

Principal Oceanographer

Email

pgaube@apl.washington.edu

Phone

206-616-0611

Education

B.A. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2003

M.S. Physical Oceanography, Nova Southeastern University, 2007

Ph.D. Oceanography, Oregon State University, 2012

Peter Gaube's Website

http://gaubelab.org

Publications

2000-present and while at APL-UW

Mesoscale eddies release pelagic sharks from thermal constraints to foraging in the ocean twilight zone

Braun, C.D., P. Gaube, T.H. Sinclair-Taylor, G.B. Skomal, and S.R. Thorrold, "Mesoscale eddies release pelagic sharks from thermal constraints to foraging in the ocean twilight zone," Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, EOR, doi:10.1073/pnas.1903067116, 2019.

More Info

6 Aug 2019

Mesoscale eddies are critical components of the ocean’s "internal weather" system. Mixing and stirring by eddies exerts significant control on biogeochemical fluxes in the open ocean, and eddies may trap distinctive plankton communities that remain coherent for months and can be transported hundreds to thousands of kilometers. Debate regarding how and why predators use fronts and eddies, for example as a migratory cue, enhanced forage opportunities, or preferred thermal habitat, has been ongoing since the 1950s. The influence of eddies on the behavior of large pelagic fishes, however, remains largely unexplored. Here, we reconstruct movements of a pelagic predator, the blue shark (Prionace glauca), in the Gulf Stream region using electronic tags, earth-observing satellites, and data-assimilating ocean forecasting models. Based on >2,000 tracking days and nearly 500,000 high-resolution time series measurements collected by 15 instrumented individuals, we show that blue sharks seek out the interiors of anticyclonic eddies where they dive deep while foraging. Our observations counter the existing paradigm that anticyclonic eddies are unproductive ocean "deserts" and suggest anomalously warm temperatures in these features connect surface-oriented predators to the most abundant fish community on the planet in the mesopelagic. These results also shed light on the ecosystem services provided by mesopelagic prey. Careful consideration will be needed before biomass extraction from the ocean twilight zone to avoid interrupting a key link between planktonic production and top predators. Moreover, robust associations between targeted fish species and oceanographic features increase the prospects for effective dynamic ocean management.

Movement ecology and stenothermy of satellite-tagged shortbill spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris)

Arostegui, M.C., P. Gaube, and C.D. Braun, "Movement ecology and stenothermy of satellite-tagged shortbill spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris)," Fish. Res., 215, 21-25, doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2019.03.005, 2019.

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1 Jul 2019

The shortbill spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris) is an understudied, istiophorid billfish primarily encountered as bycatch in pelagic commercial fisheries of the Indo-Pacific. The species is listed as data-deficient, and little is known of its biology, ecology, and population structure or status. We assessed the species' movement ecology and thermal niche with telemetry data from the first shortbill spearfishes ever outfitted with pop-up satellite archival transmitting tags (n = 3 with successfully transmitted data). Short (4–15 day) deployments offshore of the Island of Hawai'i revealed that spearfish primarily occupied the mixed layer, spending >90% of each 24-hr period between the surface and 100 m in water temperatures between 24–26°C. These individuals consistently exhibited vertical activity at night regardless of the prevailing lunar phase. Nocturnal movements throughout the mixed layer may enable shortbill spearfish to forage on mesopelagic species undergoing diel vertical migration and reduce trophic niche overlap with primarily diurnal, pelagic species. The narrow thermal distribution of shortbill spearfish in this study, almost exclusively within 2°C of sea surface temperature, suggests that they are more stenothermal than extra-generic istiophorid species.

Movement and thermal niche of the first satellite-tagged Mediterranean spearfish (Tetrapturus belone)

Arostegui, M.C., C.D. Braun, and P. Gaube, "Movement and thermal niche of the first satellite-tagged Mediterranean spearfish (Tetrapturus belone)," Fish. Oceanogr., 28, 327-333, doi:10.1111/fog.12413, 2019.

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1 May 2019

The Mediterranean spearfish (Tetrapturus belone) is one of the least‐studied istiophorid billfishes, with little known of its biology, ecology, and behavior. To assess the species' movement and thermal niche, we analyzed telemetry data from, to our knowledge, the first and only Mediterranean spearfish ever outfitted with a pop‐up satellite archival transmitting tag. Throughout a 29‐day deployment during July and August 2015, the fish travelled in Italian waters of the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian Seas, spending on average 93% of each 24‐hr period above 30 m and exhibiting a diel activity pattern comprised of daytime vertical movement and nighttime near‐surface residency. The preferred thermal niche was 26–28°C, but the spearfish experienced temperatures as low as 14.2°C during descents. Vertical distribution was limited throughout the deployment with more time spent at depth in areas where the thermocline was comparatively deeper and weaker, consistent with habitat compression experienced by other billfishes.

More Publications

In The News

Swordfish as oceanographers? Satellite tags allow research of ocean's 'twilight zone' off Florida

UW News, Hannah Hickey

Researchers from the University of Washington are using high-tech tags to record the movements of swordfish – big, deep-water, migratory, open-ocean fish that are poorly studied – and get a window into the ocean depths they inhabit.

4 Nov 2019

Why great white sharks hang out in warm whirlpools

National Geographic, Douglas Main

New research on famous white sharks Mary Lee and Lydia shows the giant fish spend a surprising amount of time in warm oceanic eddies.

19 Jun 2018

Great white sharks dive deep into warm-water whirlpools in the Atlantic

UW News, Hannah Hickey

A study from the University of Washington and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution looked at the movements of adult female white sharks in the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Ocean. Results showed, surprisingly, that they prefer warm-water eddies — the clockwise-spinning whirlpools in the ocean — and tend to spend more time deep inside these slowly spinning features.

18 Jun 2018

More News Items

Inventions

Continuous Underway Multi-sensor Profiler

Record of Invention Number: 48207

Peter Gaube, Kyla Drushka

Disclosure

15 Nov 2017

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center
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