B.S. Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, 2011
I am a first-year MS student in Marine Biology working in Dr. Rhian Waller’s cold-water coral biology lab.
In general, I am interested in enhancing knowledge of vulnerable coral habitats to understand future biological and ecological responses to climatic changes. My project focuses on determining biogeographic controls of deep-water coral distribution in the Drake Passage region of the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, yet organisms that live in this part of the worlds ocean are extremely sensitive to rapid environmental change. I will be using benthic image surveys to examine coral community composition coupled with in situ environmental (depth, temperature, topography) data to assess large-scale population patterns. Understanding present constraints on coral distributions can allow us to determine future responses of these animals, and the habitat they create, to anthropogenic perturbation (ocean warming and acidification).
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