My research focuses on improving our understanding of how key features of global change (e.g., ocean warming, eutrophication, etc.) will impact marine resources and coastal communities in the future, and assessing ways to mitigate those impacts through the development of novel ecosystem based management and restoration practices.
Places I work...
The majority of my active projects take place in coastal North Carolina and Bocas del Toro, Panama. I am also involved with collaborative projects based in Georgia and California. My previous research has taken place is a number of temperate (e.g., North Carolina and Maryland) and tropical (e.g., Florida, Panama, Cuba, and Costa Rica) environments.
My research on mesopredators is focused on providing experimental data to test the mesopredator release hypothesis and address knowledge gaps in our understanding of how mesopredator densities affect community structure in seagrass and salt marsh systems.
Top-down control is a powerful mechanism for which plants are controlled. My research examines the ability of small grazers to exert top-down control in seagrass ecosystems and the impacts on community structure and composition.
Through manipulative field experiments, observational surveys, and mesocosm experiments, I examine the food web composition and structure of numerous coastal marine ecosystems.
Coastal Food Webs
Tropicalization is a term used to describe the transformation of temperate ecosystems by poleward-moving tropical organisms in response to warming temperatures. My work examines the effects of the tropicalization on marine food webs and ecosystem structure.
Tropicalization of Temperate Systems
I use my research on top-down control, mesopredators, food webs and more to develop and test novel low-cost ecosystem-based restoration. I harnessing mechanisms of top-down control to improve global restoration and conservation efforts.
Marine Ecosystem Restoration
Coastal ecosystems provide a wide range of ecosystem services to humans, such as wave attenuation, carbon storage, fisheries production and water quality. My work explores the factors that control ecosystem services and their maximum yields.
Nonlinearity in Ecosystem Services
Economic valuation studies of ecosystem services provide important information that can be used to impact decision making and improve management outcomes. By working across disciplines, I use my research to help improve economic models to more accurately value marine ecosystem services.
Utilizing synthesis techniques, I explore inequities that exist in marine science, restoration and conservation and developing solutions to combat these inequities in my own work and throughout the field of Marine Science.
Inequities in Marine Science