My research explores the ways that natural and anthropogenic processes influence the structure and function of marine ecosystems through unique engineering solutions, advanced instrumentation, and technology development. Studies of biogeochemical cycling, physical transport processes, and bio-physical interactions are principle components of my research into carbon and nutrient cycling in coastal environments. These topics are significant because the long-term effects of human activities, which are rapidly altering climatic conditions and nutrient cycling, are not well understood. Further, because a large portion of the human population lives adjacent to the coast, we are tightly linked to the productivity and stability of coastal systems, and their resilience to stressors. Communicating these consequences to the public and policy makers, as well as educating the next generation of scientists to utilize these tools and knowledge, is vital to sustain these natural systems.
The two aspects of marine ecosystems that interest me most are 1) the ambient, in-situ factors that control productivity, carbon cycling, and transport (for example; hydrodynamics, nutrients, and community composition), and 2) the long-term effects of global change (land use, ocean acidification, hypoxia and warming) from organismal to ecosystem scales. These research questions often require a unique interdisciplinary approach in combination with new and evolving technology. This research often includes the development and engineering of new in-situ sensors, platforms, and vehicles to investigate these processes. My research is interdisciplinary involving biology, geochemistry, fluid dynamics, and community ecology.