Historically, the Center has been the basin-wide leader in fisheries science in deepwater habitat. In fact, the Center has invaluable long-term data sets (dating back to the 1970s) that have been used to understand how biotic and abiotic factors drive long-term fish community and population dynamics. As a result, the Center is well positioned to be a leading contributor to an emerging interdisciplinary approach to understanding Great Lakes food webs. In addition, Center scientists are increasingly using our fleet of research platforms to sample biota at lower trophic levels. The Center continues to develop ecosystem-level models that improve our understanding of food web structure and function, which also allow managers to explore different "what if" management scenarios.
As a whole, deepwater research will build on its strong history by collaborating with complementary researchers from agencies and academic institutions to 1) deliver and improve on our long-term fish population data series and 2) conduct research that identifies critical food-web interactions and ecosystem processes that support Great Lakes ecosystem services.