Ph.D. University of Kentucky 2003
Ongoing Research Projects:
Interactions and dynamics of invasive fishes across Everglades habitats. We aim to understand how anthropogenic activity may alter the outcome of species interactions. Biological invasions provide an excellent model system for the study of species interactions and novel selection pressures. Invasions bring into contact species that have no common evolutionary history, and thus lack adaptive responses to an invader. We am interested in examining how both the invader and members of the invaded community respond to and are affected by these novel interactions (i.e., novel prey, predators, and competitors) in both ecological and evolutionary timescales. We are also particularly interested in examining the role of behavior as an underlying mechanism mediating species interactions in the context of anthropogenic disturbance. A. Porter, K. Dunlop, and D. Lopez have or currently working on this area.
Response of ecotonal fish communities to hydrological disturbance. We are examining the response of ecotonal fish communities to hydrologic disturbance related to water management practices and restoration efforts in the southern Everglades. Current research focuses on understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of the fish communities of ecotonal and estuarine habitats in response to key ecosystem drivers (freshwater inflow and salinity). In the near future, we aim to expand our research in this region of the Everglades to examine how spatial and temporal variation in hydrology affects species interactions. In particular, we are interested in examining the context dependency of predator-prey interactions. Our central question is how does hydrologic disturbance (both natural and anthropogenic) modify predator-prey interactions among fishes inhabiting mangrove and marsh habitats along the ecotone, and what are the implications for food web structure and nutrient fluxes. This research is affiliated with the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-term Ecological Research program (http:/fce.lternet.edu) and funded by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (www.evergladesplan.org). L.M. McCarthy, B. Gallagher, J.P. Perea, and R. Boucek are working in this area.
Research Interests I am an aquatic ecologist and my research interests are focused on the study of how anthropogenic disturbance alters the nature of key ecological processes and mechanisms. I am particularly interested in understanding how anthropogenic disturbance alters the nature of species interactions such as predation and competition among freshwater fishes.
My research encompasses both biotic (i.e., non-indigenous species) and abiotic (i.e., hydrological regimes) alterations to aquatic and estuarine systems. Currently a lot of the research in our lab centers on structuring role of hydrologic disturbance on aquatic communities, and examining feedbacks and interactions among hydrology, native fish communities and non-native fish communities in freshwater and estuarine habitats of the Everglades, particularly within Everglades National Park.