Advisor: Will Patterson
I am a PhD student in Dr. Will Patterson’s lab where my research is broadly focused on the trophic dynamics of reef fish assemblages and the ecology small demersal fishes (e.g., blennies, gobies, damselfish, etc.). My research thus far provides evidence of direct and indirect effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on reef fish communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico and that many groups, including small demersal fishes, have not recovered to their pre-DWH baselines. This lack of recovery is likely the result of multiple stressors (e.g., DWH, the invasive lionfish (Pterois spp.) and fishing mortality) and concomitant changes in predator-prey dynamics. To evaluate the ecological implications, I am using compound-specific stable isotope analyses to identify patterns of carbon flow and niche partitioning within and among trophic guilds of small demersal fishes.