My interests centre on the physiological ecology of marine invertebrates, particularly bivalve molluscs such as mussels and scallops. The major focus is the response of the organism to a food supply that varies both seasonally and over the short-term (e.g., tidal cycles and storm-driven changes). Such variation is reflected in physiological rate processes such as feeding, digestion and respiration, and in the partitioning of available energy between growth and reproduction. Future work will be directed towards more sensitive estimates of the diet, especially qualitative factors that have thus far received little attention. I am also collaborating with biological and physical oceanographers at the OSC in a study of the formation and fate of the spring bloom in a large Newfoundland bay. Results to date indicate that, in some years, much of the phytoplankton production sinks to the bottom and is available to the benthos, whereas, in other years, pelagic grazers use most of the primary production, so that the organic material reaching the benthos is considerably modified. This presumably influences the nutrition of benthic invertebrates, and I am therefore investigating the energy storage and reproductive cycles of representative infaunal bivalves in order to determine whether or not events in the water column are coupled with those in the benthos.
Both, A.; Parrish, C.C.; Penney, R.W.; Thompson, R.J. (2012). Physical and biochemical properties of effluent leaving an onshore Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua, Linnaeus 1758; Gadiformes: Gadidae) aquaculture facility and potential use in integrated multi-trophic aquaculture. Aquaculture Research Doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2109.2012.03199.x.
Both, A.; Parrish, C.C.; Penney, R.W.; Thompson, R.J. (2011). Lipid composition of Mytilus edulis reared on organic waste from a Gadus morhua aquaculture facility. Aquatic Living Resources. 24 (3) 295-301. (Click here for Abstract)
Parrish, C.C.; Deibel, D.; Thompson, R. J. (2009). Effect of sinking spring phytoplankton blooms on lipid content and composition in suprabenthic and benthic invertebrates in a cold ocean coastal environment. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 391 33-51. (Click here for Abstract)
Gardner, J.P.A.; Thompson, R.J. (2009). Influence of genotype and geography on shell shape and morphometric trait variation among North Atlantic blue mussel (Mytilus spp.) populations. Biological Journal Of The Linnean Society. 96 (4) 875-897. (Click here for Abstract)
Chaparro, O.R.; Matus, P.R.; Thompson, R.J.; Segura, C.J.; Pardo, L.M.; Cubillos, V.M. (2008). Gametic, morphometric, and physiological variables influencing clutch size in the Chilean oyster, Ostrea chilensis (Philippi, 1845). Journal Of Experimental Marine Biology And Ecology. 359 (1) 18-25.
Chaparro, O.R.; Montiel, Y.A.; Segura, C.J.; Cubillos, V.M.; Thompson, R.J.; Navarro, J.M. (2008). The effect of salinity on clearance rate in the suspension-feeding estuarine gastropod Crepipatella dilatata under natural and controlled conditions. Estuarine Coastal And Shelf Science. 76 (4) 861-868.
Jaramillo, J.R.; Thompson, R.J. (2008). The reproductive response of the protobranch bivalve Yoldia hyperborea to an intermittent influx of phytodetritus. An experimental approach. Journal Of Experimental Marine Biology And Ecology. 357 (1) 57-63.
Thompson, R.J.; Deibel, D.; Redden, A.M.; McKenzie, C.H. (2008). Vertical flux and fate of particulate matter in a Newfoundland fjord at sub-zero water temperatures during spring. Marine Ecology-progress Series. 357 33-49.
Alkanani, T.; Parrish, C.C.; Thompson, R.J.; McKenzie, C.H. (2007). Role of fatty acids in cultured mussels, Mytilus edulis, grown in Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland. Journal Of Experimental Marine Biology And Ecology. 348 (1-2) 33-45.
Chaparro, O.R.; Navarrete, L.R.; Thompson, R.J. (2006). The physiology of the larva of the Chilean oyster Ostrea chilensis and the utilisation of biochemical energy reserves during development: An extreme case of the brooding habit. Journal Of Sea Research. 55 (4) 292-300. (Click here for Abstract)