University of Rhode Island
120 Flagg Road
CBLS (Office 181)
Fields of interest
Population and ecological genomics and transcriptomics of climate change. Paleoecology and development in corals and sea urchins.
Description of scientific projects
Worldwide, corals and other calcifying organisms suffer from rising sea surface temperatures, and ocean acidification. The detrimental effects of warming and ocean acidification are substantial, affecting most species examined to date by slowing calcification and reducing growth, fecundity, and survival. There are, however, organisms that already live at temperatures and pH levels predicted for all oceans by the end of the century. We use genomics, paleoecology and development to understand how marine populations have adapted to these past drastic climatic fluctuations. Our research group for example have examined climate change effects on coral demography using genomics and paleontology. Our research has shown how species richness have change in the Caribbean in the las three million years and how populations of extant species have rebounded from environmental stress caused by changes in water temperature. We are also studying how populations have evolved to cope with pH levels as low as 7.6 in the eastern Pacific and thrived for millions of generations. Other interest includes the effects of temperature on development in sea urchins and marine conservation.