B.S. Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, 2011
My research focuses on determining biogeographic patterns of animals in deep-water coral and sponge communities within 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 in situ photographs and video to examine benthic community composition to assess large-scale population patterns. Corals and sponges distributions have shifted since the peak of the last glacial maximum due to environmental changes in temperature and food availability. Understanding present constraints on coral distributions can allow us to determine future responses of these animals, and the habitat they create, to anthropogenic perturbation like ocean warming and acidification.
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