I am an aquatic ecologist and oceanographer with broad interests relevant to basic and applied issues in coastal marine systems, estuaries, rivers and lakes. Much of my research has focused on studying the growth and physiology of planktonic microorganisms (planktonic algae, protist microzooplankton, invertebrate zooplankton, and bacteria). I use a holistic perspective that encompasses how planktonic organisms interact with their physical/chemical environment, how they interact with their competitors and predators, and the implications for their population dynamics.
Planktonic organisms form the base of most aquatic food webs, and thus, the processes that regulate their populations also directly affect the abundance, diversity, and activities of higher trophic-level organisms. Plankton also play critical roles in aquatic biogeochemistry, such as fluxes of carbon and nitrogen. In addition, interactions within the community of planktonic organisms relate directly to applied, water-quality issues such as nutrient pollution and eutrophication, sewage pollution, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia.
My research approach links hypothesis-driven, controlled laboratory experiments with small-scale field manipulations and field observations. Such research is inherently interdisciplinary, connecting cell biology and physiology with ecology, and physics and chemistry of the environment. I am always open to new and interesting ways to apply my expertise.