Growth versus breakdown
climate change threatens balance
reefs of the future
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Title: Environmental drivers of the coral reef accretion-erosion balance in present and future ocean conditions.
Worldwide, declines in coral cover and shifts in coral reef community composition have raised concerns about whether reef accretion (reef growth by coral and other calcifiers) will continue to exceed reef erosion (reef breakdown by borers and grazers). Reef persistence is influenced by global and local anthropogenic factors, such as ocean warming, acidification, eutrophication, and overfishing, as well as natural environmental variability. Predicting reef response to environmental stress requires an understanding of both natural and anthropogenic environmental drivers of reef accretion and erosion, and how these drivers interact at different spatiotemporal scales. For my dissertation, I measured variation in accretion and erosion along a natural gradient to determine the dominant environmental drivers of accretion-erosion rates at fine (tens of meters) and broad (1000s of kilometers) spatial scales. I also used a controlled mesocosm experiment to directly examine the effects of global anthropogenic stressors (i.e., temperature and ocean acidification) on the coral reef accretion-erosion balance. My results highlight the importance of spatial scale in interpreting accretion-erosion data on coral reefs and also indicate that increases in reef erosion, combined with expected decreases in calcification, could accelerate the shift of coral reefs to an erosion-dominated system in a high CO2 world.
the smell of Life arising,
ignorants say “stinks”.
Aarhus University, Denmark
The title of my thesis that I completed in spring 1993 was “The transformation of reduced sulfur compounds in bacterial cultures and in sediments”. Despite its olfactoric challenges this is an extremely exciting field in microbial ecology and physiology since it touches our origins.
Here, fishy, fishy
Please bite my delicious hook
I need a fin clip
University of British Columbia
I am investigating divergent selection in rockfish to see what environmental factors might promote local adaptation and how this fits into our general understanding of population connectivity.
With fire, woodland thrives.
With water, rainforest spreads.
Two systems, or one?
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Rainforest and fire-prone (pyrophytic) vegetation in the Wet Tropics of Far North Queensland are usually approached as two independent biological systems that happen to occur close together. My project examines whether they can be considered alternative stable states within single large complex system.
Night, shelter here, mate
Or flower has no offspring, yet
By morning – heat’n go
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dissertation title: Pollination ecology of Oncocyclus irises (2004)
The work showed that night-sheltering male bees are the pollinators of the dark-colored irises in the middle-east, and that their reward is not food (such as nectar), but heat absorbed by the dark flowers at sunrise. The heated flowers warm the male bees, and they fly to their day-time business.
Wanted and then not
Now they make new ecosystems
Need novel controls
University of Queensland, Australia
The negative impact of invasive plant species on biodiversity and ecosystem functions, such as productivity and nutrient cycling has been deemed a global epidemic. To address this concern my dissertation focused on better understanding how the invasion process happens and how to control existing invasions. I found a novel approach, based on alternative states models, is needed to restore a more desirable native community because the dynamics of the invader-dominated system can differ greatly from the historical native community.
Snakes in the prairie,
need wide open plains.
Nicolette L. Cagle
Dissertation Title: “A multiscale investigation of snake habitat relationships and snake conservation in Illinois.”
My dissertation examined the relationships between snake abundance and habitat at three different spatial scales in Illinois prairies, and also ranked snake species in terms of their current conservation status. It was entitled “a multiscale investigation of snake habitat relationships and snake conservation in Illinois.”
Limber pine creates
Safe, warm, shaded microsites
For ungrateful plants
My dissertation looked at the mechanisms of facilitation by one tree species, limber pine, on another tree species, Douglas-fir, and a shrub, wax current, in an extremely harsh environment. The Douglas-fir ultimately outcompetes limber pine. The wax current is an intermediary carrier of a pathogen that ultimately kills limber pine.
People come to see
unspoiled places – can we keep
that from spoiling them?
University of Florida
Dissertation Title: “Assessing Visitor Impact on Coastal Habitats in South Carolina’s ACE Basin”
Species lost and gained
Ocean food webs shaped like squares
Squirts, kelp, delicious.
In the ocean, species are going extinct at global scales. Locally, however, the number of species is often increasing due to invasions. I found that, in both kelp forests and on docks, predator extinctions lead to a release of their prey. At the same time, increases in prey diversity from invasions on docks (sea squirts and bryozoans) likely increased water filtration and ammonium excretion.
Fox on windy isle
For the good of your species
Make some babies, please?
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
I study reproduction in a captive breeding population of endangered island fox.
Rocky shores pummeled
Animals strong hold or hide
thrive on cool splashing.
I try to understand how the physical environment limits where plants and animals can live. In my thesis, I studied how waves breaking on rocky shores influence the incredibly rich communities that live on the rocks. Despite dangerously-high water velocities, many different organisms live in the most exposed spots on rocky shores. I explored several aspects of the physical environment such as how the shape of the rock surface affects the forces that small organisms actually experience (crevices may actually cause the water to move with greater force), whether organisms could find protection from waves by hiding under other organisms (yes they can) and whether high wave forces may be beneficial (yes: by splashing water up the shore they can protect organisms from drying out during low tide).
It’s warm; feel your tummies growl?
Graze down hot seaweed.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
I explore the effects of temperature on food webs using coastal marine plants and animals. In general, as water warms by small amounts, fish and crustaceans eat more seaweed. Thus, warming predictably changes energy flow in food webs and the abundance of marine plants and animals.
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