I am a freshwater community ecologist, and my research program focuses on using invasive species to answer ecological and evolutionary questions. Nonindigenous species can alter ecosystems and threaten global biodiversity, so understanding the conditions that promote invasion success and control the impacts of invaders is important for management of today’s ecosystems. Further, the addition of species to novel communities and environments provides natural experiments that are powerful tools for investigating questions in ecology and evolution. I am particularly interested in how evolution over short timescales alters the traits of species and their ecological impacts. I also study interactions between native and invasive species, especially interactions between parasites and their hosts. I am currently a research assistant professor in the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program at the University of Florida.
Cheyenne Stratton, M.S. Student
My research investigates the role of pathogens in biological invasions and their potential use to control invasive crayfish populations. First, I will examine disease prevalence and composition within native and non-native crayfishes within Northern Wisconsin. I will then select a few candidate pathogens for laboratory studies to observe the potential effects on behavior and mortality of both native and non-native crayfishes, with hopes of identifying a pathogen that will decrease the survival or competitive ability of the invasive rusty crayfish.
Bana Kabalan, M.S. Student
I am studying the drivers and ecological consequences of intraspecific variation in virile crayfish populations from different latitudes ranging from Northern Wisconsin to Southern Illinois. My study focuses on the extent to which among-population variation in crayfish behavior affects stream ecosystem functions. These ecosystem functions include stream metabolism, nutrient cycling, and leaf litter decomposition.
Nicole Tripp, Undergraduate Researcher
My research investigates among-population variation in the metabolic rates of virile crayfish that were collected from eight different populations across a latitudinal gradient from Northern Wisconsin to Southern Illinois. We are using intermittent respirometry to determine the metabolic rates of these crayfish. We are interested in regional differences in crayfish metabolic rates and how these are related to crayfish behavioral traits.