My research interests have always been fairly broad, ranging in disciplines including biogeochemistry, community ecology, fisheries science, remote sensing, and coastal geomorphology. However the main connective objective is a driving curiosity about coastal marine systems and a desire to conserve and restore these key ecosystems in the face of anthropogenic and climate-related effects.
My current dissertation research focuses on the spatiotemporal variability in recruitment dynamics of juvenile blue crabs, one of North Carolina’s most economically important fishery species. In particular, I’m focusing on their nursery habitat use and availability and how it may be affected by climate-related factors such as shoreline erosion and storm frequency. Through this study I address how the current juvenile blue crab population in North Carolina has fluctuated following an over fishing event in the early 2000s and whether the current supply of recruits may be related to the continued historical lows in blue crab standing stock. Furthermore, I am investigating the roles of two primary blue crab nursery habitats and assessing how factors such as wave exposure, invasive species, and shoreline erosion are affecting their availability.
M.S. Ecology San Diego State University 2016
B.A. Biology St. Mary's College of Maryland 2009
- Spatial Variation in Nursery Habitat Use by Juvenile Blue Crabs in a Shallow, Wind-Driven Estuary , ESTUARIES AND COASTS (2022)
- Latitudinal variation in plant defence against herbivory in a marine foundation species does not follow a linear pattern: The importance of resource availability , Global Ecology and Biogeography (2021)
- Eelgrass structural complexity mediates mesograzer herbivory on epiphytic algae , OECOLOGIA (2019)
- Biocalcification in the Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) in Relation to Long-term Trends in Chesapeake Bay pH , Estuaries and Coasts (2011)