Mann David

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Augmenting biologging with supervised machine learning to study in situ behavior of the medusa Chrysaora fuscescens

2019-08-23 , Fannjiang, Clara , Mooney, T. Aran , Cones, Seth , Mann, David , Shorter, K. Alex , Katija, Kakani

Zooplankton play critical roles in marine ecosystems, yet their fine-scale behavior remains poorly understood because of the difficulty in studying individuals in situ. Here, we combine biologging with supervised machine learning (ML) to propose a pipeline for studying in situ behavior of larger zooplankton such as jellyfish. We deployed the ITAG, a biologging package with high-resolution motion sensors designed for soft-bodied invertebrates, on eight Chrysaora fuscescens in Monterey Bay, using the tether method for retrieval. By analyzing simultaneous video footage of the tagged jellyfish, we developed ML methods to: (1) identify periods of tag data corrupted by the tether method, which may have compromised prior research findings, and (2) classify jellyfish behaviors. Our tools yield characterizations of fine-scale jellyfish activity and orientation over long durations, and we conclude that it is essential to develop behavioral classifiers on in situ rather than laboratory data.