We study seagrasses and their associated communities as indicators of environmental conditions and change, particularly how human activities impact these critical ecological zones. Our lab applies innovative approaches, including image analysis and genomics, to reveal new insights into these communities. Much of our work focuses on the algal epiphyte biofilms that colonize seagrass leaves. These highly diverse micro-communities form the interface between seagrass and the environment, and they exhibit a range of responses to changes in nutrients, turbidity, temperature, and invertebrates. New projects will be examining the interactions of oyster mariculture operations with seagrass communities. Students can expect to work on a mix of field experiments and laboratory analyses.
Physiology/biochemistry/molecular biology of seagrass stress responses to anthropogenic impacts; epiphyte dynamics and interactions with seagrasses