My research focuses on biodiversity, community structure, and the impacts of multiple stressors in marine ecosystems. I also study how changes in these ecosystems influence social and ecological well-being. I was a post-doctoral fellow at Louisiana State University and the University of California Santa Barbara, and I earned my PhD in Marine Science from the College of William & Mary.
Chesapeake Bay seagrass beds are highly biodiverse, but are increasingly subject to multiple stressors such as climate change and coastal development. In this project, I explored whether biodiversity can buffer ecosystem function against the impacts of multiple stressors in these habitats. I also examined the impacts of coastal development on seagrass community structure and function.
Based in the Gulf of Mexico, this project investigated acute affects of oil spills in coastal ecosystems. More specifically, the goal was to understand how oil spill impacts can vary across a saltmarsh landscape. I studied the effects of oil on saltmarsh plant ecophysiology and growth. In addition, I researched how the impacts on plants can affect saltmarsh consumers.
This project focused on human-induced ecosystem change, how biodiversity can buffer this change, and the impacts of these changes on social-ecological systems. The work was based in the Gulf of Alaska, which is exposed to dramatic oceanographic and climate changes, and stressors such as oil spills. I investigated oil spill impacts on groundfish, spatial patterns of groundfish diversity, and drivers of mussel abundance on rocky shores.