My research focuses on global change ecology in rocky intertidal systems, specifically how climate change is likely to alter predator-prey relationships and ultimately intertidal communities.
As thermal temperatures increase over the coming century, marine intertidal organisms will be affected not only by direct abiotic stress, but also indirectly through changes in predation rates. My research looks at how these direct and indirect effects will alter foundation species' distribution patterns on both local and broad spatial scales across a latitudinal gradient ranging from the Olympic Coast, WA to San Diego, CA.
More Range, More Problems?
Climate-induced distribution shifts occur over a longer temporal scale than direct introductions, but can have an equally high impact on endemic communities. My research examines the ongoing range expansion of the dark unicorn whelk, Mexacanthina spirata, and its potential for competition with local species based on distribution patterns, feeding preferences, and thermotolerance. These dynamics are critical for predicting the community-level effects of range expansions.