The abundance of algal endophytes in Antarctic macroalgae was first described by Dr. Akira peters in 2003, and has been further investigated by Dr. Charles Amsler and his students. My contribution to this research included measuring physiological stress that endophytes put on their host (e.g. through measuring growth and photosynthesis), determining which hosts were negatively affected by these endophytes and further whether endophyte presence is uniform across species life-history stages. This research has been published in peer-review journal articles.
Invertebrate larval settlement
Very little is know about the settlement dynamics of invertebrate larvae in Antarctica. These propagules are limited by seasonality of resources, abiotic stressors, and the biological community. I investigated interaction between coralline algae extracts, depth, and larval settlement along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Please contact me if you would like more information on those findings.
Climate change is occurring at a rapid pace along the western Antarctic Peninsula, and many marine organisms may be affected. With Dr. Julie Schram, I look at the effect of ocean acidification and warming on common benthic marine organisms from the western Antarctic Peninsula. Over two years we used mesocosm and microcosm experiments to incubate these organisms and evaluate physiological response to manipulated oceanic conditions. I specifically looked at dominant canopy forming algae, the Desmarestiales, and the abundant crustose algae, corallines and a fleshy Hildenbrandia sp. All of this work has been published in peer-reviewed journal articles.
In all of my work I use the physiology and physiological response of marine algae to answer questions about ecology and climate change. I do this in a variety of ways: measuring growth, photosynthesis (PAM fluorometry), thallus toughness, palatability, and more.
I have also participate in identification of cryptic algal species from this region, primarily in a collaboration with Dr. Paul Gabrielson. Please contact me with questions about the identity of green filamentous algal endophytes and crustose coralline algae.