Red tides—caused when millions of algae spread across the surface of coastal waters—have been around for centuries. But our understanding of how and why they occur is murkier than the water they inhabit. So a new research project is hoping to clear things up.
Efforts to secure funding for this oceanic research began nearly five years ago, says UC Santa Cruz researcher and professor Raphael Kudela. Concurrently, a team at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium was developing a small robotic research platform that can be left in the ocean for months at a time. Kudela says his study intends to make extensive use of them.
These will be combined with a second type of robotic device that samples water deeper below the surface.