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Graduate Research

As a marine community ecologist, my research is focused on testing and advancing co-existence theory with field experiments with the applied objective of increasing the resilience and productivity of foundation species. Foundation species form the base for many vital marine ecosystems, in addition to providing habitat for hundreds of commercially and recreationally important species. In recent years, foundations species have been rapidly declining globally. My research examines how species interactions (both intra and inter) and physical forces interact to regulate the recovery of foundation species. Ultimately, I aspire to develop novel ecosystem-based restoration and management practices to restore foundation species world-wide.

Image by The Tampa Bay Estuary Program
Seagrass

How do mesopredators affect seagrass ecosystems?

What the factors that control mesopredators' diversity, density, and cascading impacts on seagrass systems?

Image by todd kent
Salt Marsh

How do mesopredator density and diversity affect salt marsh systems?

More Coming Soon 

Image by Toan Chu
Oyster Reefs

What are the effects of marine soundscapes & biochemical cues on oysters?

Seagrass

Water Foam
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QUESTIONS

To examine the effects of mesopredators on seagrass health and productivity, my graduate research will focus on addressing two questions;

  1. What are the relative effects of mesopredators and nutrients in controlling seagrass production and diversity?

  2. To what extent do large predators control mesopredators' diversity, density, and their cascading impacts?

OBJECTIVES

  • Provide experimental data to test the mesopredator release hypothesis 

  • Address knowledge gaps in our understanding of how mesopredator densities affect community structure

  • Examine the effects of mesopredators density on mesopredators, mesograzers and epiphytes interactions

  • Incorporate findings into the development of new policy and management techniques to protect coastal ecosystems.

 

Oyster Reefs

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Image by Matthew Essman

QUESTIONS

  1. What are the effects of anthropogenic noise disturbance on oyster recruitment, settlement, growth, and productivity?

  2. What are the relative effects of acoustics facilitation vs. acoustics disruption?

  3. What are the relative effects of acoustic facilitation and biochemical facilitation?​

     

OBJECTIVES

Improve our understanding of the effects of marine soundscapes and chemical cues on foundation species recruitment, settlement, growth, and productivity. In addition to identifying the best aquaculture and management practices for oyster reefs.

 

Our Team