Community Ecology

We are studying marine communities in a variety of coastal habitats in New England, Chesapeake Bay, the Indian River Lagoon in Florida, and Belize. Our studies focus on how the species composition and diversity of communities change among biogeographic regions and why one region or habitat is diverse and another depauperate. We  are particularly interested in how competition for resources changes with diversity and the impact of predation in these different systems. We are currently examining whether different stable or threshold communities can co-exist within a region and what environmental changes are necessary to push the community from one state to another.  We are also looking at long-term or historical changes in coastal communities and the use of data collected a century ago to evaluate these changes.