Even the smallest person can change the course of the future
- J.R.R. Tolkien
The first chapter of my PhD disseration assesses how kelp forest grazer energetics are altered by environmental change. Previous work has shown that ocean acidification and warming can impact how much organisms eat and how they utilize the calories (i.e. growth, maintenance, reproduction). These changes could have dramatic impacts not just on the organisms themselves, but also the entire ecosystem in which they are embedded. This work was featured in UCSC ScienceNotes.
The second chapter of my PhD dissertation investigates how species responses to the threats of combined environmental changes differs from their responses to a single factor in isolation. This project utilizes a bio-energetics framework to predict the effects of ocean acidification and ocean warming on marine species using a meta-analysis.
The third chapter of my PhD disseration is focused on furthering our understanding of how exposure to natural variability in environmental conditions alters sea urchins' responses to future change. This project involves deploying autonomous sensors to measure pH, temperature and dissolved oxygen continuously within kelp forests from Mendocino to Laguna Beach, CA. This project is in collaboration with ReefCheck CA and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
The first chapter of my Master's thesis at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) focused on how ocean acidification and grazing by purple sea urchins alters community structure in kelp forests found in San Diego and Carmel, CA. I found that the impacts of OA and grazing were context-dependent and may be influenced by the initial assemblage structure (the identity and abundance of organisms) and prior pH exposure. Click here to read more about this project featured in the Environmental Monitor.
The second chapter of Master's thesis at MLML assessed how OA and warming impact the growth and physiology of a species of articulated coralline algae, Calliarthron cheiliosporioides. I found that growth and calcification were reduced under both warming and acidic scenarios, but the impact of acidity was greater than warming.