Current Research

I am a PhD student in the Department of Biology at McGill University under the Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability (BESS) program advised by Lauren Chapman (McGill University) and Andrew Altieri (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, STRI). Within the BESS program I take courses in Canada and Panama and conduct internships across Latin America. In addition, I am on a collaborative fellowship between the University of Florida and the STRI called Bridging the Americas. Through this fellowship we focus on educating the public about the importance of conserving our marine ecosystems.

My dissertation research focuses on the roles of stress and disturbance in the spatial variability of biodiversity. Global environmental changes due to anthropogenic disturbances and climate change impact species composition and diversity which can alter the ecosystem functioning. Foundation species (e.g., red mangrove Rhizophora mangle), organisms that play a strong role in structuring communities, are an integral part of the ecosystem, making them an ideal study species to understand the role stress and disturbance play in altering community composition.

My current research fits under three categories:

  • The importance of red mangrove root properties in driving local species composition.
  • The role of stress and disturbance in shaping community composition within mangrove islands.
  • How stress may alter interactions between mangroves and adjacent coral reef ecosystems.

My field work is conducted in Bocas del Toro, Panama and south Florida.

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