Dr Kay C. Vopel

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Email: kay.vopel@aut.ac.nz

Links to relevant web pages:
Marine Science Group

Memberships and Affiliations:

Editorial Boards:

Marine Ecology Progress Series (RE)

International Journal of Oceanography

Environment, Ecology & Management

Teaching Areas:

Ecology & Evolution

Research Summary:

Dr Vopel's Marine Science Group studies the production and decomposition of organic matter in marine sediment as a means of understanding how environmental change affects coastal ecosystem functioning. The group approaches ecology primarily through underwater and laboratory experiments in which microsensor techniques are combined with standard analytical techniques and numerical modeling.


Wilson P, Vopel K (2012) Estimating the in situ distribution of acid volatile sulfides from sediment profile images. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 10: 10701077

MacTavish T, Stenton-Dozey J, Vopel K, Savage C (2012) Deposit-feeding sea cucumbers enhance mineralization and nutrient cycling in organically-enriched coastal sediments. PLoS ONE 7(11): e50031. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050031

Vopel K, Wilson PS, Zeldis J (2012) Sediment–seawater solute flux in a polluted New Zealand estuary. Marine Pollution Bulletin 64: 2885–2891 ​

Vopel K, Thistle D (2011) Cues, not an endogenous rhythm control the dusk peak in water-column entry by benthic copepods. Estuaries and Coasts 34(6): 1194–1204​​

Larned ST, Packman AI, Plew D, Vopel K (2011) Interactions between a mat-forming riverine diatom, Didymosphenia geminata, and its hydrodynamic environment. Limnology and Oceanography: Fluids and Environments 1: 4–22​​

Vopel K, Pilditch CA, Wilson P, Ellwood M (2009) Effects of disturbance depth and near-bed flow on the distribution and consumption of O2 in cohesive sediments. Marine Ecology Progress Series 392: 43​–55

Cummings V, Vopel K, Thrush S (2009) Effects of terrigenous deposits on pore water solutes in coastal marine habitats: explaining post-settlement colonist behaviour. Marine Ecology Progress Series 383: 173–185​​

Røy H, Vopel K, Huettel M, Jørgensen BB (2009) Transport of water and solutes around the symbiont bearing sessile ciliate Zoothamnium niveum. Marine Biology 156: 669–677​​

Vopel K, Gibbs M, Quinn J, Hickey C (2008) Modification of sediment–water solute exchange by sediment-capping agents: effects on O2 and pH. Marine and Freshwater Research 59: 1101–1110​​

Ellwood MJ, Wilson P, Vopel K, Green M (2008) Trace metal cycling in the Whau estuary, Auckland. Environmental Chemistry 5: 289–298​​

Vopel K, Vopel A, Thistle D, Hancock N (2007) Effects of spatangoid heart urchins on O2 supply into coastal sediment. Marine Ecology Progress Series 333: 161–171​​

Vopel K, Hawes I (2006) Photosynthetic performance of benthic microbial mats in Lake Hoare, Antarctica. Limnology and Oceanography 51: 1801–1812​​

Lohrer AM, Thrush SF, Lundquist CJ, Vopel K, Hewitt JE, Nicholls PE (2006) Deposition of terrigenous sediment on subtidal marine macrobenthos: response of two contrasting community types. Marine Ecology Progress Series 307: 115–125​​

Vopel K, Thistle D, Ott J, Bright M, Roy H (2005) Wave-induced H2S flux sustains a chemoautotrophic symbiosis. Limnology and Oceanography 50: 128–133​​

​​​Teasdale M, Vopel K, Thistle D (2004) The timing of benthic copepod emergence. Limnology and Oceanography 49: 884–889​​​​

Fechter A, Thistle D, Arlt G, Suderman K, Vopel K (2004) Do harpacticoids (Copepoda) use water-borne cues to aid in locating food parcels? P.S.Z.N.: Marine Ecology 25: 217–23​​

Vopel K, Thistle D, Rosenberg R (2003) Effect of the brittle star Amphiura filiformis (Amphiuridae, Echinodermata) on oxygen flux into the sediment. Limnology and Oceanography 48: 2034–2045​​

Soltwedel T, Miljutina M, Mokievsky V, Thistle D, Vopel K (2003) The meiobenthos of the Molloy Deep (5600 m), Fram Strait, Arctic Ocean. Vie et Milieu 53: 1–13​​

Vopel K, Reick CH, Arlt G, Pöhn M, Ott JA (2002) Flow microenvironment of two marine peritrich ciliates with ectobiotic chemoautotrophic bacteria. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 29: 19–28​​

Vopel K, Pöhn M, Sorgo A, Ott J (2001) Ciliate-generated advective seawater transport supplies chemoautotrophic ectosymbionts. Marine Ecology Progress Series 210: 93–99​

Pöhn M, Vopel K, Grünberger E, Ott J (2001) Microclimate of the brown-alga Feldmannia caespitula interstitium under zero-flow conditions. Marine Ecology Progress Series 210: 285–290​​

Vopel K, Thiel H (2001) Comparing abyssal nematode assemblages of physically disturbed and adjacent sites of the eastern equatorial Pacific. Deep Sea Research II 48: 3795–3808​

Soltwedel T, Vopel K (2001) Bacterial abundance and biomass in response to organism-generated habitat heterogeneity in deep-sea sediments. Marine Ecology Progress Series 219: 291–298​​

Klages M, Vopel K, Bluhm H, Brey T, Soltwedel T, Arntz WE (2001) Deep-sea large food falls: First observation of a natural event in the Arctic Ocean. Polar Biology 24: 292295​​​

Vopel K, Dehmlow J, Johansson M, Arlt G (1998) Effects of anoxia and sulphide on populations of Cletocamptus confluens (Copepoda: Harpacticoida). Marine Ecology Progress Series 175: 121–128​​

Gamenick I, Jahn A, Vopel K, Giere O (1996) Hypoxia and sulphide as structuring factors in a macrozoobenthic community on the Baltic Sea shore: colonization studies and tolerance experiments. Marine Ecology Progress Series 144: 73–85​​

Thiel H, Schriever G, Ahnert A, Bluhm H, Borowski C, Vopel K (2001) The large-scale environment impact experiment DISCOL – reflection and foresight. Deep Sea Research II 48: 3869–3882​​

Bluhm H, Borowski C, Ahnert A, Vopel K, Schiever G, Thiel H (1999) Reaktionen benthischer Tiefsee-Lebensgemeinschaften auf mechanische Störungen der Sedimente. German Journal of Hydrography 51(10): 149–152​​

Bussau C, Vopel K (1999) New nematode species and genera (Chromadorida, Microlaimidae) from the deep sea of the eastern tropical South Pacific. Annalen des Naturhistorisches Museum Wien 101B: 405–421​​

Vopel K, Dehmlow J, Arlt G (1996) Vertical distribution of Cletocamptus confluens (Copepoda, Harpacticoida) in relation to oxygen and sulphide microprofiles of a brackish water sulphuretum. Marine Ecology Progress Series 141: 129–137​​

Vopel K, Dehmlow J, Arlt G (1996) Living in light exposed anaerobic systems–field and laboratory studies on the sulphide resistance of Cletocamptus confluens (Schmeil, 1894) (Copepoda, Harpacticoida). In: Fischer U, Grieshaber MK (eds) Processes and Structures in Marine Methane and Sulphide Biotopes. Shaker Verlag, Aachen​​

Vopel K, Arlt G (1995) The fauna of floating cyanobacterial mats in the oligohaline eulittoral zone off Hiddensee (south-west coast of the Baltic Sea). P.S.Z.N.: Marine Ecology 16: 217–231​

Vopel K, Arlt G (1995) Cyanobacterienmatten – ein attraktiver Lebensraum fuer Meiofauna. Bodden 2: 37–52​ ​

Popular articles:

​​Hohaia A, Vopel K (2012) One species' poison is another species's meat. Coastal News 50: 7–8​

Wilson P, Vopel K (2011) Monitoring organic enrichment of coastal sediment. Coastal News 46: 14–15​

Guggenheim C, Hohaia A, Vopel K (2011) Measuring suspended sediment in coastal waters. Coastal News 48: 3–4​​

Giles H, Vopel K (2008) Research towards sustainable aquaculture. Water & Atmosphere 16: 22–23​

Vopel K, Giles H, Zeldis J (2007) Colourful seafloor. Water & Atmosphere 15: 22–23​​​

Vopel K (2006) NIWA News: Going under ice to measure microbial mats. Water & Atmosphere 14: 8.​​​

Vopel K, Funnell G (2005) Breathing sediments: microbes, waves, and hidden animal pumps. Water & Atmosphere 13: 16–17​​

Vopel K (2005) Not just a crab hole. Water & Atmosphere 13: 18–19​​

Matheson F, Wells R, Vopel K (2005) Horrible Hornwort threatens South Island Lakes. Water & Atmosphere 13: 10–11​ ​

Technical reports:​

Dodd S, Vopel K (2010) Proposal for monitoring the Te Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve. AUT Client Report DOC20108, prepared for The Department of Conservation Waikato Conservancy, New Zealand​​

Vopel K, Røy H (2009) Pulsed boundary layer flow versus tide-driven deep pore-water flow—What drives sulfide vents in oceanic mangrove peat habitats? In: Ruetzler, K, Carpenter, M., Piantoni, C., CCRE Report 2009, Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems, National Museum of Natural History, Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Program, Washington, D. C. 20013-7012, December, 2009​​

Vopel K, Budd, Hart C (2007) Progress report: Firth of Thames sediment profile imageryBaseline. NIWA Client Report: HAM2007–081​​

Vopel K, Giles H, Budd R, Hart C (2007) Wilson Bay sediment profile imaging: 2. Pilot study. NIWA Client Report: HAM2007–080​​

Vopel K, Chiaroni L (2006) Wilsons Bay marine farm benthic monitoring annual report for 2005. NIWA Client Report: HAM2006–049​​

Vopel K, Hewitt J (2005) Benthic draft LAC 2001–2003. NIWA Client Report: HAM2005–022​​

Vopel K, Funnell G (2006) Wilsons Bay Sediment Imaging: 1. Instrument test. NIWA Client Report: HAM2006–004​​

Vopel K, Broekhuizen N (2005) Summary of the design characteristics of the Wilsons Bay Group A Consortium Monitoring. NIWA Client Report: HAM2005–063​​

Soltwedel T, Quéric N, Vopel K (2002) Effects of micro-scale environmental heterogeneity on small sediment-inhabiting organisms. Berichte zur Polar- und Meeresforschung 422: 11–20​​

Soltwedel T, Quéric N, Vopel K (2002). Effects of micro-scale environmental heterogeneity on small sediment-inhabiting organisms. Berichte zur Polar- und Meeresforschung 422: 11–20​​

Vopel K, Soltwedel T (1999) Small-scale heterogeneity and diversity of meiofauna at the deep seafloor. Berichte zur Polarforschung 339: 9–11​​

Bluhm H, Klages M, Soltwedel T, Vopel K (1999). Advantages of a deep-diving ROV over traditional sampling methods for deep-sea research and recommendations for future work. Berichte zur Polarforschung 339: 14–15​