I am broadly interested in trophic level interactions within aquatic systems. My dissertation research is centered on Lake Erie’s food web and fish assemblage; specifically asking how populations respond to both planned (e.g., management of nutrient inputs and top-predators; i.e., walleye) and unplanned (i.e., invasive species) perturbations. Taking a combined approach of empirical analysis using spatially-explicit, long-term datasets of fish abundance and lower trophic levels (i.e., phytoplankton and zooplankton) and extant computational models, I aim to improve our understanding of the mechanisms regulating community composition and abundance and to provide insight to managing agencies.
My master’s research focused on trophic level interaction and applied an ecological focus to pond management techniques. We manipulated replicated larval percid (i.e., walleye and saugeye) rearing ponds to assess the effectiveness and community response to nutrient regime, predator density, and relative timing effectively testing three fundamental ecological regulatory mechanisms of bottom-up and top-down processes and the match-mismatch hypothesis, respectively.
Research Assistant. The Ohio State University. 2004-2011.