2000 B.S., Marine Science & Biology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
2011 Ph.D., Marine Environmental Biology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
I investigate protistan and phytoplankton community dynamics and how these populations contribute to and are affected by environmental perturbations in coastal and estuarine ecosystems, including harmful algal blooms (HABs) and coastal hypoxia. Generally, I am interested in understanding how we can best understand complex biological systems and their forcing mechanisms operating on different spatio-temporal scales. I am also highly interested in the intersection of human activities and development with the natural coastal environment and with the health and sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. Key ecological questions that drive my research include: How do bloom-forming phytoplankton species respond to (often rapidly) changing environmental conditions? What implications do algal blooms have on heterotrophic protistan dynamics? Can we gain a better understanding of bloom and hypoxia dynamics over short timescales to aid prediction and/or mitigation of these events? I utilize both laboratory- and field-based approaches to investigate these questions.
Potential graduate and undergraduate students who are excited by phytoplankton ecology and coastal biological oceanography should contact me directly to discuss opportunities to do research in the lab.