New paper out in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. We provide a definition of the eight core processes that underpin coral reef ecosystem functioning and present a framework for how we can gauge the effects of key species versus biodiversity per se on these processes. Check it out here!
Tiny fish fuel the reef! Our article published today in Science highlights the overlooked but important contribution of my favorite fishes — tiny, cryptobenthic reef fishes — to coral reef fish biomass production. Check out the paper here, or check out Ed Yong’s story in the Atlantic for a lighter read.
What does a coral reef food web look like? Using gut content DNA metabarcoding, we identified the trophic interactions in 22 species of reef fishes. See the paper in Methods in Ecology and Evolutionhere, led by Dr. Jordan Casey.
What drives rates of macroalgal removal on coral reefs? My student Zachary Topor used a meta-analysis and structural equation model to show that herbivore biodiversity is the strongest driver of macroalgal browsing and that herbivore diversity, in turn, is boosted by marine protected areas. Read the paper here.
What do we mean by “function”? Our paper in Functional Ecology asks this question from the perspective of coral reef fishes. Many hours of agonizing discussions have led to this diatribe about reef fish functionality. Check out the paper here.
Do fish have individual voices? From our study on the Bocon Toadfish, it looks like they do! Our paper, just published in Environmental Biology of Fishes, shows that we can pick out individual calling patterns in a high-density population of these fishes. Cool stuff led by Erica Staaterman and a fun collaboration. Link to the paper here and a cool blogpost here.
Brett Taylor's paper on the drivers of life-history trait variation in parrotfishes across the Great Barrier Reef has just been published. Check it out!
We're hiring a postdoc to work with us on coral reef fish trophodynamics! 30-months of funding, fieldwork in Moorea, and lots of cryptodiversity. Full advertisement is here. Email me if you have any questions about the position.
My new paper has just been published in Ecology & Evolution, showing that marine dock pilings can foster diverse and regionally-characteristic assemblages of cryptobenthic fishes that follow the latitudinal diversity gradient... #OpenAccess #Cryptodiversity
How to monitor biodiversity in tropical marine ecosystems? Acoustic monitoring can provide a valuable complement to visual techniques, as shown by our new study published in MEPS.
In October 2017, I will start a Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, working with Dr. Isabelle Côté at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Check out the Banting scheme and prepare for more #Cryptodiversity in the coming two years.
In addition, our paper on trophic cascade theory on coral reefs has been awarded the Virginia Chadwick Award for best student publication by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. Well done, Jordan!
Ever wondered if the effect of small predators on prey scales with body size? Our new paper suggests that it does not in the arc-eyed hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus. Have a look at the paper here and be sure to check out Beneath the Waves, whose founder, Austin Gallagher, led the study.
My new paper has just come online inEcosphere, describing the dynamics of functional diversity patterns in reef fish assemblages after a severe loss of live coral cover. Read the paper to see how species like the humbug damselfish Dascyllus melanurus are coping with losing their homes.
I have just joined Ecology & Evolution as an Associate Editor. I am looking forward to interesting submissions from all disciplines of ecology.
Jordan Casey's paper testing trophic cascade theory across a gradient of predator densities has been published in Oecologia. For this paper, I ran a piecewise structural equation model to infer causality of relationships between different trophic levels. Curious to see the outcome? Check out the paper hereor have a look at the main figure below. Interested in piecewise SEMs? Check out Jon Lefcheck's MEE paper.
Chris Mirbach's MSc paper on ontogenetic shifts in the social behavior of rabbitfishes has beenpublished in Marine Biology Research, providing the first evidence for mixed-species pairs in rabbitfishes. Well done, Chris!