Welcome to my website! I'm a researcher at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories. I just defended my Ph.D. (UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences). I work primarily with Dr.s: David Duggins, Ken Sebens, Mike Brett, Megan Dethier, Si Simenstad and Adam Summers. Starting in June, I'll be working on post-doctoral research position in Finland with Dr. Paula Kankaala.
In my work I generally study subtidal (underwater) ecology, which means I am broadly interested in the interactions of organisms with their environment. One way I study the trophic interactions (i.e., who's eating who) in these hard to reach places is with the use of fatty acids and stable isotopes as biomarkers. It's all very futuristic and exciting!
Fatty acids are in all plant and animal cell tissues – different plants and algae families have distinct fatty acid signatures (chapter 1 of my dissertation). I use fatty acids to estimate what invertebrates in deep water (>350 feet) are eating. To do this I am collecting animals from a variety of depths and sites, and comparing their fatty acid signatures (chapter 2). To “ground truth” the validity of such an approach I am also subjecting many of these invertebrates to a series of controlled feeding trials which are designed to determine the response of an animals’ fatty acids to different diets (chapter 3).
The pages of this site have a sample of some of my favorite subtidal scenes. All pictures are by Aaron Galloway (copyright) unless otherwise noted.