PhD Candidate studying the ecology of coral restoration, University of California, Santa Barbara

My dissertation work focuses on how key ecological processes on reefs can be harnessed or manipulated to facilitate the recovery of degraded coral reefs. I have been working in the field of coral restoration ecology since 2011 when I worked as a contractor for NOAA specifically focused on developing successful approaches to restore coral reefs. My PhD research began in Florida where I worked with local, state, and federal agencies as well as NGO’s to conduct experiments that would provide findings that could be directly applied to improve how we restore coral reefs. For example, my research has focused on the dynamics of coral competition on contemporary Caribbean reefs, how coral density influences fish communities and the ecological functions they provide, and the role of coral genotypic diversity in driving coral growth and recovery from disturbance. Since 2015, I have been conducting research on the coral reefs on Moorea, French Polynesia, where I largely focus on how competition and predation independently and interactively influence the recovery of coral reef community structure after large-scale disturbances.

Experience

  • –present
    PhD Candidate studying the ecology of coral restoration, University of California, Santa Barbara

Education

  • 2011 
    Florida International University, M.S. Environmental Studies