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. I am using the carnivorous dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) and its sessile filter feeding prey (barnacles and mussels) in the northern and southern Gulf of Maine 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 role of the canopy-forming macroalgae, Ascophyllum nodosum, in rocky intertidal communities in the northern and southern Gulf of Maine
- The effects of variation in sessile invertebrate recruitment on Nucella predation
- Latitudinal patterns in characteristics of Nucella populations in the northern and southern Gulf of Maine
I address these questions through a variety of field- and lab-based techniques. Here are a few videos created by fellow graduate student, Daniel Blustein, demonstrating some of the methods I use in my research.