February 16, 2024 | Vancouver is Awesome via UVic News 

As the presence of floating kelp forests in marine ecosystems declines in some areas, others are remaining strong. In a recent paper, researchers at the University of Victoria investigated the conditions surrounding the resilient kelp to aid their understanding in how to recover lost kelp habitats.

Maycira Costa, the lead scientist on the research paper, explained that kelp beds are struggling to survive around the Gulf islands, and disappearing in California. However, off the coast of Victoria, Esquimalt, and Sooke, they are resilient.

Dr. Costa also explained that kelp are more likely to survive heat waves when situated in areas exposed to open ocean, wind and currents that cool the temperature of the water. However, these conditions do not necessarily ensure the kelps survival, as in the Johnstone Strait, the kelp is not doing well, regardless of the water temperatures.

Dr. Maycira Costa is the lead researcher at the SPECTRAL lab, an interdisciplinary research lab which investigates on the interaction of organic and inorganic material in water with light energy. Dr. Costa is also a professor in the geography department at UVic. Her areas of expertise include biogeophysical processes, coastal oceanography, remote sensing, and wetlands.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Maycira Costa’s research with remote sensing, you can check out her publications on UVic’s institutional repository, UVicSpace!