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I study the causes and consequences of biodiversity change in aquatic ecosystems, in service of developing science-based tools for conserving natural resources under global change. My interests span a range of topics including biological invasion, climate effects on fisheries, and ecosystem restoration. I use a range of techniques including behavioural observation, field and mesocosm experiments, and statistical and mechanistic models. Prior to the University of Alberta, I was a Banting Fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University and a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow at Oregon State University.
My main aim is to design tools and frameworks with which to understand how predators and fundamental ecosystem processes are impacted by humans and environmental change and thus contribute to evidence-based solutions for their management. My postdoctoral work focuses on developing new tools to forecast marine food web trophodynamics under climate change in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem in collaboration with Stanford University and NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center. My research spans from planktonic organisms to fish and seals in my native southeastern Australia. I obtained a B.Sc. with Honours with Prof. Maria Byrne, and a Ph.D in 2018 from the University of Sydney, working with Associate Prof. Will Figueira on the ecological interactions of recolonizing populations of fur seals and temperate reef communities in southeastern Australia.
I am a marine spatial ecologist and an advocate for equity and diversity in conservation sciences. My postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta will focus on developing a interactive conservation tool to inform interventions for marine invasive species. I work with multiple partners and management agencies to develop spatial priorities and quantify economic costs for managing Indo-Pacific lionfish in US Caribbean and Tropical Western Atlantic territories. Before I became a U of A Panda, I was a Beaver at Oregon State University in the lab of Dr. Mark Hixon. My dissertation used a combination of diving, GIS, and spatial ecology to analyze the distribution of lionfish in the Bahamas and examine their interactions with habitat and other species at multiple scales. I received a BS in Marine Science from California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), where I worked in the Sea Floor Mapping Lab analyzing coarse-grained sediment patterns on the California continental shelf. I also have BA in Human Communications.
I study the effect of restoration activities on community dynamics and ecosystem assemblage using coral reefs as a model ecosystem. My interest in applied science is to create tools for conservation practitioners, while working with diverse collaborators to create sustainable conservation and restoration solutions. Prior to the University of Alberta, I completed research internships at the Coral Health and Disease Lab at Mote Mote Marine Laboratories in Sarasota, FL, and at Cape Eleuthera Institute in the Bahamas. My undergraduate research at the Marine Macroecology and Biogeochemistry Lab at Mount Allison University focused on quantifying major macromolecular pools in a dominant Arctic phytoplankton strain. I am passionate about diversity and inclusion in science, science communication, and tiny but vital organisms (ie corals, algae, and lichen!)
I study the ecological and environmental drivers of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) movement among invaded coral reefs in St. Croix, USVI. My project entails implanting lionfish with internal acoustic transmitters within a Vemco Positioning System and will yield fine-scale movement patterns among habitat patches in relation to gradients of abiotic conditions, resource availability, and competition.
I study how species assemblages on restored coral reefs in the Florida Keys affect nutrient recycling. Stemming from a strong interest in natural resource management at all levels, I aim to use applied sciences to better understand changes in economically valuable ecosystems and develop tools to influence better management decisions. Prior to this, I spent time working with the School for Field Studies in the Turks and Caicos Islands and at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute in the Cayman Islands, developing an interest in engaging stakeholders starting at the community level in resource management decisions. As an avid outdoor enthusiast and guide, I am also passionate about experience-based education, expedition-based research, and empowering underrepresented communities to engage in scientific endeavors.
I study aquatic invasive species with a focus on the roles animal behaviour and community engagement play in the invasion’s success. I have an interdisciplinary approach to research and collaboration, where I enjoy engaging with the public, government, and industry to work towards more sustainable communities. After completing a degree in marine biology with a minor in psychology at Dalhousie University I gained experience in scientific outreach, education, and research, and now continue my journey at the University of Alberta.