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Cabell Davis

Chief Scientist

Cabell Davis is a Senior Scientist in the Biology Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and is Director of WHOI’s Ocean Life Institute.

He has been working in the field of biological oceanography for over 30 years, conducting research on plankton ecology with a focus on zooplankton. Much of his research has dealt with the ecology of Georges Bank, a rich fishing ground east of Cape Cod. He has used a combination of biological-physical modeling, field sampling, and laboratory experiments to determine the underlying mechanisms controlling observed distributions of zooplankton species.

He pioneered the development of underwater imaging tools for studying plankton, including the Video Plankton Recorder, an underwater video microscope with automatic image identification. He collaborated with MIT engineers in developing a small underwater digital holographic camera for imaging plankton. He is modeling the impact of climate change on the fisheries ecosystem on Georges Bank as part of the U.S. Northwest Atlantic Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics program and is currently serving as Chair of that program. He has participated in over 50 oceanographic cruises to all oceans of the world, including the Southern Ocean.