My Research


I am a 4th year Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia, where I am advised by Dr. James (Jeb) E. Byers at the Odum School of Ecology. I am using a combination of drone and airplane aerial photography, and field and lab experiments to identify spatial distribution and interaction patterns between two coastal engineering organisms – the eastern oyster and smooth cordgrass. Like the beaver, both species are ecosystem engineers: organisms that engineer the environment around them. There is a lack of knowledge on how interactions between such organisms might affect the environment and the Georgia coast where I work is a great place to study these interactions.

Both of my study organisms provide a number of services that are beneficial to humans. My research will help inform management of natural resources in Georgia and neighboring states, by describing their distribution patterns today and making predictions on how those patterns may change with changes in climate and sea level (read more).

How to get involved

I am looking for undergraduate interns and financial support

OutReach Projects


Living Shorelines

Bank Stabilization

Living shoreline bank stabilization methods can be more effective, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than traditional armoring designs.

Oyster restoration

Restoration of Oyster Reef Habitat

Approximately 85% of oyster reefs are lost world wide. This is alarming as oyster reefs provide a number of services that are highly beneficial to humans.


How to Manuals

As sensors and microcontrollers become smaller and cheaper, automated ecological monitoring is something that can be achieved, even on a graduate student budget.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Aerial Photography and Mapping

Through the use of recent advances in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s, aka drones) and software, aerial photography, mapping and 3D terrain modeling are accessible on a small budget.

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