UNCW's Condon Helps Create World's First Global Jellyfish Database

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

An international study by the University of Southampton and UNCW has led to the creation of the world's first global database of jellyfish records to map their populations in the oceans.

Jellyfish Database Initiative, or JeDI, will map jellyfish biomass in the upper 200m of the world's oceans and explore the underlying environmental causes driving the observed patterns of distribution. Members of the public, media and scientists now have access to information at the click of a button to resolve key questions relating to global trends in jellyfish populations.

"Given increased human interaction with the ocean, identifying the mechanisms that are driving the jelly cycles is the next key step in the scientific process. JeDI provides the framework to continue to monitor jellyfish populations and to evaluate potential future baseline shifts," says Rob Condon, assistant professor in the UNCW Department of Biology and Marine Biology.

The findings from a 2013 study led by Condon indicated global jellyfish populations were exhibiting fluctuations over multidecadal time-scales centred round a baseline. "If jellyfish biomass does increase in the future, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, this may influence the abundance and biodiversity of zooplankton and phytoplankton, having a knock-on effect on ecosystem functioning, biogeochemical cycling and fish biomass," says Condon.

JeDI will be managed at UNCW and can be accessed at

Condon recently about spoke about jellyfish blooms as part of the UNCW Center for Marine Science's Planet Ocean Seminar Series.