I am actively engaged in basic and applied research to examine how consumer-resource relationships build the food web architecture that supports ecosystem function and resilience. I am currently involved in a number of concurrent projects that span a wide range of species, ecosystems, and questions. However, the unifying theme for all of these projects is visualizing and quantifying food web architecture to provide a mechanistic understanding of the structure and functioning of marine food webs food webs. This research is directly relevant to the recent decadal review of ocean science by The National Academy of Sciences, which highlighted changes in food web structure over the next 50 to 100 years as one of eight priority questions in ocean science. The ultimate goals of my research are to not only understand the processes and patterns of ocean food web architecture, but also provide the scientific support necessary to promote healthy sustainable human-environment interactions.
Current Research Projects:
This project aims to identify links between food web architecture and reef resilience, and ultimately provide the scientific basis for coral reef conservation and sustainable human-environment interactions.
This research will help place recent ecological changes in the Southern Ocean into a larger historical context by examining proposed decadal and millennial-scale variation in predator trophic dynamics, population expansion and contraction, and large-scale shifts in the Antarctic marine food web.
This project reconstructs past changes in open ocean ecosystem food web structure and biogeochemical cycling using deep-sea proteinaceous corals as biogenic archives.
This project couple satellite and acoustic tagging approaches to better understand the patterns and drivers of the amazing migration patterns of some of the ocean’s largest and most threatened species.
This project uses compound-specific stable isotope analysis in fish otoliths to identify essential coastal nurseries and migration corridors of fishes at the seascape level.
This project is part of an ongoing collaboration to construct ocean isoscapes at a range of spatial and temporal scales to examine ocean food web structure, biogeochemical cycling, and animal migration.
To realize the full potential of the CSIA approach for ecogeochemistry, I have a number of projects going to investigate the underlying biochemical and physiological mechanisms generating variability in individual compound fractionation through controlled laboratory experiments.