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 an assistant professor in the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program at the University of Florida.
Cheyenne Stratton, Ph.D. Candidate
My research investigates the role of pathogens in biological invasions and their potential use to control invasive crayfish populations. I have examined disease prevalence and composition within native and non-native crayfishes in Northern Wisconsin. I have also examined the impacts of microsporidian pathogens on the growth, survival, and behavior of invasive crayfish as well as how the trait-mediated and density-mediated effects of these pathogens modify the ecological impacts of invasive crayfish.
Bana Kabalan, Ph.D. Student
I am studying the drivers and ecological consequences of intraspecific variation in crayfish behavior. I have examined behavioral traits in crayfish populations from different latitudes ranging from Northern Wisconsin to Southern Illinois and across perennial and intermittent streams in Florida. My research focuses on the extent to which among-population variation in crayfish behavior affects stream ecosystem functions such as stream metabolism, nutrient cycling, and leaf litter decomposition. I am also investigating the extent to which these behavioral traits are heritable.
Coleson Wrege, Ph.D. Student
My broad research interests focus on aquatic macroinvertebrates and their uses in water quality monitoring and ecosystem function. I am currently investigating the effects of prescribed fire on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in Florida wetlands and will be exploring topics related to this in the future. Education and outreach focused on aquatic insects is also a passion of mine.
Sara Bolds, Ph.D Student My research focuses on the impacts of parasites in freshwater ecosystems, particularly how they alter the interactions between species. I am currently investigating disease dynamics in invasive and imperiled crayfish hosts.
Melanie Giangreco, MFAS Student My research focuses on freshwater invasive species and how their introduction into reservoirs can affect their behavioral traits.
Nicole Tripp, undergraduate researcher and technician