I am a marine ecologist who studies population and food web ecology, particularly how natural and human stressors alter life history traits and the structure of marine food webs. As a result, I investigate questions at the intersection of animal behavior, population biology, community ecology, and global change. My work is primarily focused on investigating three primary questions:
(1) What are the natural and anthropogenic factors underpinning variation in life history traits (e.g., growth rates)?
(2) How do human activities alter the flow of energy through marine food webs?
(2) What are the cumulative effects of stressors and trait variation on population and community dynamics?
Much of my work centers on the integration of ecogeochemistry (e.g., stable isotopes), sclerochronology, and quantitative modeling to study life history traits and the dynamics of past and present foods. I also often study threatened, protected, and/or cryptic species to build fundamental knowledge pertinent to their conservation and management. Understanding factors the control animal behavior and demography are key to predicting ecological responses to future ecosystem changes and curbing biodiversity loss.
I am currently an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography working with Dr. Kelton McMahon. My postdoctoral research is examining how climate- and fisheries-induced ecosystem change influenced the trophic dynamics of marine top predators—marine mammals, sea turtles, fish—over the past century. This work centers on the integration of museum archives (e.g., Smithsonian NMNH, NOAA), time series analysis, and compound-specific stable isotope analysis of amino acids (CSIA-AA) to investigate the sources and cycling of energy in past and present marine food webs.
In 2022, I will be joining Dr. Julia Baum's lab at the University of Victoria as a Hess Postdoctoral Research Fellow to study the interactive effects of human disturbance and marine heatwaves on coral reef fish trophic dynamics.
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