Research

Interacting Ecosystem Engineers

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 interested in interactions between ecosystem engineers over spatial and temporal gradients. For my dissertation I am primarily focusing in on spatial relationships between the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) and smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), two saltmarsh ecosystem engineers. I am also interested in how these relationships might change with climate change and sea level rise.

I use a combination of unmanned aerial vehicle remote sensing, field and lab manipulative experiments and mensurative surveys. While I am pursuing a career in basic ecology my research interests stem from a more applied background in oyster restoration and living shoreline projects, and as such I want my research to be relevant to my former work.