Research

My research focuses on marine biodiversity, its effects on ecological processes, and our capacity to safeguard both diversity and functioning in times of unprecedeneted anthropogenic disturbances. Currently, I work predominantly on coral reef fishes, particularly small, bottom-dwelling (‘cryptobenthic’) fishes. Find out more about this ‘hidden half’ of reef fish assemblages!

Conceptually, my research is concerned with five main elements (see links for examples):

1) Standardized biodiversity monitoring techniques that can create detailed species inventories across large spatial and temporal scales. To achieve this, I work with a global network of collaborators and continue to work with the Smithsonian’s MarineGEO network.

2) The characterization of species’ functional niches. To do so, I use a variety of techniques borrowed from the fields of molecular ecology, physiology, ecomorphology, and behavioral ecology.

3) Examinations of functional community assembly and the response of communities to disturbances. I use trait-based approaches and functional diversity indices to quantify these patterns.

4) The quantification of ecological processes across space and time. This part of my research relies on standardized experiments or consumption assays which can be deployed across a variety of habitats.

5) Integration of ecological knowledge to provide guidance for the management of coastal ecosystems. Hang tight for upcoming results!