I am a marine ecologist whose research broadly seeks to understand the the causes and consequences of life history variation in marine species, with an emphasis on studying how ecosystem change and variability permeate through food webs to impact the ecology of individuals, populations, and communities. To this end, I integrate a diverse suite of research techniques (sclerochronology, molecular geochemistry, statistical and population modeling) to examine ecological responses in (1) animal demographic rates and (2) consumer-resource interactions, and (3) subsequent effects on population and community dynamics. I primarily use marine top predators—sea turtles and marine mammals—as research models to study their roles as top-down regulators of marine food webs and sentinels of ecosystem change. As a result, I engage in both basic and applied research, typically in species of conservation or management concern.
I am currently a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography working with Dr. Kelton McMahon. Using multiple research collections and cutting edge molecular geochemistry techniques, I am examining how human-induced changes in food web structure influenced the trophic dynamics of marine mammals and sea turtles over the past century.
My doctoral research at Oregon State University centered one elucidating the environmental factors influential to sea turtle somatic growth rates and population dynamics. This research focused on the study of sea turtle humerus bones, which contain annual records of body size, age, growth, diet, and habitat use.
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