I am a biological oceanographer and ecologist interested in the physiology and ecology of marine microbes, as well as their macroecology, biogeography, and biodiversity. I am particularly interested in the impacts of climate variability on marine ecosystems, and how these changes may feed back on global biogeochemical cycles.
Currently I am an Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). My work at Princeton and GFDL focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of rapid changes, or "tipping points", in marine ecosystems through novel application of GFDL's Earth System Models and time series data from around the globe. Tipping points may be driven by internal ecological changes and human interventions, but also profound changes in the Earth system, such as sea ice melting and ocean circulation variability. I am working to understand how and why these critical events play out in the ocean on human-relevant timescales, and what their impacts may be.
Before coming to GFDL, I was a National Science Foundation International Research Postdoctoral Fellow hosted jointly between Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and the University of Liverpool's School of Environmental Sciences. My fellowship work focused on assessing the links between climate variability, both in the recent historical past and projected anthropogenic future, on marine phytoplankton communities. I completed my PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with Professor Mick Follows. My work at MIT focused on understanding the links between microbial functional traits, environmental conditions, and microbial community structure and biodiversity.
In my research I integrate numerical models, large compilations of environmental and ecological data, and meta-analyses of microbial trait data to address significant questions in oceanography and ecology, such as:
- What governs the community ecology, macroecology, biogeography, and biodiversity of microbes?
- How does climate change impact microbial physiology and communities, and through which mechanisms and pathways?
- How might these ecological changes feedback upon biogeochemical cycles?