Assistant Curator, Invertebrate Zoology and Geology
My research focuses on the capacity of benthic marine organisms to cope with changing environmental conditions. Specifically, I have devoted the last ten years to understanding how coral reef organisms are impacted by changing seawater chemistry (ocean acidification), alone and in combination with warming. I have led a variety of projects that address this central question at various scales ranging from single cells (gamete interactions and fertilization success) to individual organisms (perturbation experiments investigating the effects of ocean acidification on corals, calcareous algae, gorgonians, and sea urchins) and whole-of-reef processes (net ecosystem calcification and production). Presently, my research addresses two main questions: 1) how do changing global conditions (warming and acidification) impact the capacity of reef organisms to successfully reproduce and recruit; and 2) how do benthic processes (e.g., net community production and calcification) influence inorganic carbon dynamics and the impacts of ocean acidification.