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Image by Mitch Meyers


Matthew D. Ramirez
Dr. Matthew Ramirez

Assistant Professor

University of North Carolina Wilmington

The Ramirez Lab, based at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Department of Biology and Marine Biology and Center for Marine Science, studies marine population and community ecology, with an emphasis on expanding understanding of how natural and human stressors alter life history traits and marine food web structure and function. To this end I investigate three primary questions:


(1) What are the natural and anthropogenic factors driving variation in life history traits (e.g., growth rates)?

(2) How do human activities alter the flow of energy through marine food webs?

(3) 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 build mechanistic understanding of the factors shaping population and food web dynamics in our changing oceans. I also often study threatened, protected, and/or cryptic species to build fundamental knowledge pertinent to species and ecosystem 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.

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