Recent Projects

Fatty Acid Source Tracking Algorithm in R (FASTAR

 

A fatty acid-based Bayesian mixing model approach for quantitative estimation basal resource utilization by herbivorous invertebrates. I am working on several applications of the approach and now sharing the R script and published example data files on EcologyBox: http://conserver.iugo-cafe.org/user/gway

Under-Ice Ecology of Lakes 

 

There is growing interest in the ecology of lakes during periods of ice cover, but our general understanding of under-ice productivity and biology in lakes is still limited. For my postdoc work with Dr. Stephanie Hampton, we organized a large collaborative effort to synthesize global under-ice biological data

LCEFA content in six algal groups.
LCEFA content in six algal groups.

Food Quality of Algal Resources

 

For my postdoc with Dr. Monika Winder, we summarized the long chain essential fatty acid content (LCEFA) from six algal groups, using hundreds of published phytoplankton fatty acid profiles. We applied average group LCEFA content to a multi-decadal time phytoplankton time series to model fatty acid dynamics in a freshwater ecosystem. The work (and the data) is published at PLoS ONE.


Galloway 2013. All rights reserved.
Galloway 2013. All rights reserved.

Modeling Zooplankton Diet with Biomarkers

 

For my postdcoc with Dr. Paula Kankaala in Finland, I used a novel fatty acid mixing model, paired with an extensive series of feeding trials with Daphnia, to estimate the contribution of diverse phytoplankton, bacteria, and terrestrial-originated detritus to cladocera in 5 large boreal lakes (Freshwater Bio. 2014).

Photo: M. Eisenlord, 2013
Photo: M. Eisenlord, 2013

What Resources Support Intertidal Isopods?

 

Isopods are generalist herbivores that can regulate algal communities and transfer energy from primary producers to upper trophic levels. However, direct observation, stomach contents, and existing biomarker methods cannot effectively track what isopods eat. We quantified isopod algal resource use (MEPS 2014) with a fatty-acid mixing model based on feeding trial data. We found that individual isopod diets can vary markedly from within sites, but also that isopods are generally supported by the locally abundant algae.