Expertise

Emphasis: Marine Ecosystem Response

My research focuses on marine ecosystem responses; understanding relationships between organisms and their environment and specific biological and physiological responses to environmental change.  In particular, I am interested in the mechanisms by which anthropogenic-driven perturbations affect coastal habitats and species.  I give special focus to commercially important coastal bivalves, horseshoe crabs, manatees and dolphins.

Specific Research Topics

  1. Ecology and physiology of bivalves in nGOM waters (and elsewhere)
    1. Use of N stable isotope ratios in bivalve shell to trace anthropogenic N sources
      1. A comparison of pre-treatment methods for δ15N analysis in mollusk shells
      2. Impacts of land use change and nitrogen source shifts through time: Building capacity for collaborative research leadership at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
      3. N in bivalve shells trace variation in wastewater entry to coastal waters
      4. Tracing sources and history of eutrophication at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
      5. Tracing mercury contamination relative to wastewater inputs to Waquoit Bay, MA.
    2. Use of stable isotope ratios to link wastewater sources to effects on shellfish and human health: Defining relevant and effective spatial and temporal scales for management
    3. Biological and physiological responses of oysters to stress, including the DWHOS
    4. Bivalve enhanced N removal from coastal waters
    5. Collection of biological data to understand larval distribution and refine a larval transport model for the Mobile Bay/Mississippi Sound system
  2. Population and trophic ecology of West Indian manatees in Alabama waters
    1. Use of satellite telemetry and GPS to monitor manatee movements in Alabama waters and define migratory patterns along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast 
    2. Use of sighting and necropsy data to define movements and diet of manatees
    3. Use of genetics, stable isotope ratios and trace elements to understand population linkages, distributions, and migration patterns of manatees
    4. Aerial survey and biological assessment under the National Resource Damage Assessment program for the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill (DWHOS)
    5. Use of aerial thermography to define warm water refugia of manatees in Alabama waters
    6. Support for conservation and management by integration of research and public education
  3. Alabama Marine Mammal Stranding Network & cetacean research program
    1. Analysis of spatial and temporal stranding patterns for bottlenose dolphins in Alabama waters
    2. Collection of data in support of the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP) and NRDA program for the DWHOS
  4. The trophic importance of land-derived organic matter in the Mobile Bay/Mississippi Sound system
  5. Population and trophic ecology of horseshoe crabs in the nGOM
  6. Development and integration of metadata and research data retention at DISL
Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Biology, University of Maine at Machias

Environmental Studies, University of Maine at Machias

Assistant Professor, Marine Biology, University of Maine at Machias

School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, College of Agriculture, Auburn University

Adjunct, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Alabama

Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Alabama
2018

Past Affiliations

Associate Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Alabama (past)

Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Alabama (past)

Communities
Environmental Science, Marine Biology, Biological Science, Ocean Sciences
Degrees
PhD, Boston University, Marine Biology, 2004
MA, Boston University, Marine Biology, 1998
BA, University of Chicago, Biology, 1993