As an experimental marine ecologist, I use careful observation, natural history, and molecular techniques to study changing ecosystems and the building blocks of life.
My research is focused on trophic relationships between algae and creatures at the base of marine, estuarine, and lake food webs. I use fatty acids as biomarkers for questions about consumer resource use and lipid metabolism.
Why does this matter? Aquatic ecosystems host a diverse flora of phytoplankton, seaweeds, and seagrasses, which synthesize 'essential' omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Zooplankton, fish, orcas, and even humans ultimately rely upon algae to generate these molecules for all food webs.
Surprise marine science-related website:
Surprise ecology-related open access paper: