PhD Candidate, NSF Graduate Research Fellow
I am broadly interested in geographic variation in the strength and nature of species interactions. My current work focuses on latitudinal differences in rocky intertidal communities in the Gulf of Maine (GoM). I am using the carnivorous dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) and its sessile filter feeding prey (barnacles and mussels) in the northern and southern GoM as a model system to examine the effects of physical and biological factors on species interactions across a broad geographic range. Specifically, I am investigating the effects of the canopy-forming macroalgae (Ascophyllum nodosum) on understory species interactions, the effects of geographic variation in sessile invertebrate recruitment on Nucella predation, and latitudinal patterns in characteristics of Nucella populations across the GoM.