My research focuses on the biology and ecology of seagrasses, principally in the Chesapeake Bay. My current emphasis is on habitat restoration and conservation and understanding the principles and processes governing the dynamics of these plant communities. One major element of our program is the annual monitoring of the distribution and abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay and the seaside bays of the Maryland and Virginia barrier islands, using a combination of low level remote sensing and GIS tools. Annual reports documenting the patterns of bay grasses are available on our SAV website and these data are being used by federal and state management agencies as one of the measurable products in assessing the success of efforts to clean up the waters of Chesapeake Bay. The second major element focuses on seed ecology issues, primarily with eelgrass, with emphasis on abiotic and biotic processes influencing seed germination and seed dispersal. A third major element is the restoration of eelgrass in Chesapeake Bay and the seaside bays of Virginia’s barrier island lagoon system using a basic and applied research approach primarily using seeds. The fourth and final element is a strong advisory component to the Commonwealth of Virginia and the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program in assuring seagrass beds are protected from direct and indirect impacts. Our research program emphasizes the dissemination of information in both technical documents as well as scientific peer reviewed journals.
2018 Outstanding Scientist in Virginia