Zooplankton are interesting groups for heavy metal studies. In this study, 8 Red Sea zooplankton samples were subjected to elemental analyzes. The average elemental concentrations were ranked as: TOC > Na > TN > Ca > S > K > Mg > Sr > P > Fe > Zn > Al > B > Ba > As > Mn > Cu > Cr > Ni > Pb > Cd > Se > Co. There was a significantly positive correlation between the deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) Chl-a concentrations and the zooplankton Mo concentrations (R2=0.7100, p < 0.05) around the 8 sampling stations. Except that, remarkably negative correlations between the zooplankton S, Mn, Fe, and Cu concentrations and the DCM depths were observed (p < 0.05). After normalized by total nitrogen (TN) concentrations, the zooplankton Al, S, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Sr, Ba concentrations were significantly increased along with the latitudes of their sampling stations (p < 0.05), indicating higher heavy metal concentrations in the North part of the sampling areas, which were close to the Yanbu, Rabigh and Jeddah Oil Refining Plants.
Chunzhi Cai obtained his bachelor degree of Food Science and Technology in the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) in 2016. Then he moved to the Hong Kong University and Science and Technology (HKUST), and got his master degree of Environment Health and Safety in 2017. During his master study, he worked on the heavy metal (Ag, Pb, As) toxicity tests on the dinoflagellate species Prorocentrum dentatum. Later, he continued his heavy metal (Cu) studies on the marine mussels as a Research Assistant (RA) in the HKUST. In 2018, he joined KAUST as a Ph.D student in Prof. Susana Agusti group. Now, he is still working on heavy metals (Cu, Zn), as well as other common elements in the Red Sea phytoplankton, zooplankton, marine sediments, as well as coral sediments.