Lauren Yeager wins UGS Provost Award for Outstanding Paper or Manuscript

Lauren Yeager, a Ph.D. candidate from Dr. Craig Layman’s lab, was recently awarded the FIU UGS Provost Award for Outstanding Paper or Manuscript. Lauren was honored with this award for her paper published in Oecologia in 2011 entitled “Effects of habitat heterogeneity at multiple spatial scales on fish community assembly”. The importance of studying processes occurring at large spatial scales is increasingly acknowledged in ecology. This study used artificial reefs to model natural patch reefs and linked the amount and pattern of seagrass within large areas to the number of types of fishes that colonized these reefs. Results of this research suggest that even subtle changes in seagrass habitat surrounding reefs have the potential to impact reef fish communities. This means that human activities that affect seagrass cover can impact reef fishes that depend on this habitat for food.