I joined Rob Dunbar's group as a PhD student in Fall 2011. The broad focus of my research is carbon cycling in coastal marine environments. I have worked on coral reefs on Palmyra Atoll and American Samoa to understand the carbon sytem dynamics of coral reefs at extremely high temporal resolution. This work combines novel analytical instrumentation with physical oceanographic measurements to constrain the biogeochemical signals from coral reefs (calcification/dissolution, production/respiration, air/sea gas exchange). I am also interested in applying many of these same techniques towards understanding carbon cycling in kelp forests. These ecosystems are thought to be some of the most productive marine environments anywhere on the planet. In the coming years, I plan to work in kelp forests off Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, CA to better constrain the carbon cycling within a healthy kelp forest community as well as develop quantitative estimates of the net primary production occurring in these environments. The overarching goal of my research is to more fully understand the natural and anthropogenic variability present in coastal marine ecosystems so that we may make more informed decisions about their fate in the warmer and more acidic ocean of the future.
In early February 2013 I'll be leaving the warm, tropical locales to which I've become accustomed. I will travel to Antarctica as part of the TRACERS project to study carbon cycling in the Ross Sea. You can follow the progress of the research cruise from McMurdo Station in Antarctica to Punto Arenas, Chile with our TRACERS blog.