Dale Stokes started as
a Postgraduate Researcher at MPL in 1998. His unique qualifications
to undertake any research is based on his extensive experience
in ocean-based field research. He expertise lies in the
design, construction and deployment of numerous in
situ sensor systems related to studying both the
benthic and pelagic marine environment.
Dr. Stokes also has extensive oceanographic field experience
and has participated in various research expeditions dedicated
to the study of pelagic and benthic environments around
the world. In 1995 he participated in the NSF Polar Program
"Cold temperature adaptations in Antarctic marine organisms"
at McMurdo Station and has since spent three additional
seasons in Antarctica to serve as the scientific liaison
and support diver for the Office of Polar Programs, "Life
under the Ice" PBS Nature Documentary, as well as collecting
data on polar benthic habitats. His field work also includes
three seasons of studying impact crater lakes in the high
Canadian Arctic with a group of scientists from NASA and
the British Antarctic Survey.
His range of research interests is eclectic and includes,
in addition to his professional research activities in the
fields of Biological and Physical Oceanography, diving and
oceanographic sensor and instrumentation development.
Dale is also an avid underwater photographer with a portfolio
which includes images and text that have appeared in National
Geographic, Science, Nature, Skin Diver and Outside Magazine
The major current research focus in concentrated in the
following areas: a) air-sea gas exchange and bubble formation;
b) high pressure gas and environmental sensor systems; c)
polar biology d) mesoscale physical forcing on benthic communities.
Some of the current research involving Dr. Stokes and
the IMT Laboratory includes laboratory work investigating
the use of bioluminescent plankton for use as microscopic
flow sensors to explore turbulent mixing beneath breaking
waves. This study should help improve the way scientists
model the flux of gas between the ocean and the atmosphere.
Current field work includes an investigation of internal
wave mixing of nutrients and bulk water movements across
coral reefs in Florida (with Jim Leichter at SIO) that utilizes
new technology developed in the IMT Laboratory. Other field
work includes working as part of an international team of
scientists studying the nearshore physical and acoustic
environment influencing the migration of Humpback whales
off the east coast of Australia.
A few of the major collaborating research institutions he
has worked with include the NASA Ames Research Facility,
the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge University, Woods
Hole Oceanographic Institution, University of Rhode Island,
Stanford University and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research
Institute. He feels that close collaborations with other
researchers are of great benefit because they increase the
opportunities and resources available to study difficult
or isolated environments. And, he enjoys the close camaraderie
that develops among researchers with different specialties
that have come together to combine their expertise to study
a particular problem.
In addition to work specific to past and present research
programs, Dale reviews manuscripts for the Journal of Experimental
Biology, Limnology and Oceanography, and Polar Biology.
He also has been fortunate to share his field research exploits
with primary and high- school children across Canada and
in California by serving as a 'scientist/mentor' via the
Ontario Education Network and serving as a marine science
curriculum advisor in San Diego County.
"The atmosphere at MPL and in the IMT Laboratory is
dynamic and exciting. In our group we bring a great range
of expertise and experience to focus on projects that are
both intellectually stimulating as well as fun. Grant, James
and Cary are not only great researchers but we are also
all great friends, so working together is a pleasure, not
a chore. The IMT Laboratory is unique in its ability to
combine novel oceanographic instrument design and fabrication
with immediate application to scientific study. This provides
an ideal working environment for someone like myself who
has a broad range of interests. Life as a scientist is often
grueling and boring in the details, but, punctuated with
brief periods of excitement. Working extensively in the
field provides a high level of satisfaction and having a
hands-on-approach to experimentation yields a different
perspective to many scientific problems".