I joined Rob Dunbar's group as a PhD student in Fall 2011. The broad focus of my research is coastal ocean biogeochemistry. I am especially interested in understanding the natural variability in community metabolism and carbon cycling in coastal marine environments.
I have worked on coral reefs on Palmyra Atoll and American Samoa to understand the biogeochemistry of coral reefs at extremely high temporal resolution. This work combines novel geochemical analytical instrumentation with physical oceanographic measurements to measure the daily metabolic cycles in coral reefs (calcification/dissolution, production/respiration, air/sea gas exchange). Knowing how these rates change with warmer water temperatures and lower surface pH will help us predict and plan for the warmer and more acidic ocean of the future. My research at both of these locations is ongoing and is yielding important insights into the functioning of these complex ecosystems.
I am also interested in applying many of these same coupled biogeochemical-physical techniques and insights towards understanding kelp forest biogeochemistry. Kelp forests are thought to be one of the most productive marine ecosystems. In the coming years, I plan to work in the kelp forests and nearby environments of Hopkins Marine Station to better understand the metabolic and carbon system variability in the kelp forest on a range of time scales: from daily to annual. This work will be performed in conjunction with collaborators from the Center for Ocean Solutions and the Marine Life Observatory.
My research interests also span polar regions. In February-April 2013, I was part of a team of researchers that traveled to the Ross Sea to study the fate of algal carbon and better understand the role of the Ross Sea in the global carbon cycle. TRACERS (TRacing the fate of Algal Carbon Export in the Ross Sea) is generating new information about the role of late summer water column processes in exporting carbon to the deep ocean. You can relive the excitement of the cruise through the TRACERS blog!
Last updated: April 30, 2013