In the Pose A Question post a reader asked…
What are your (research) interests? I personally tend to find some of the more exotic deep sea communities interesting– hydrothermal vent communities, whale falls, and life at the poles.
The simplest answer to this is the diversity and body size of deep-sea animals. My research often focuses on soft-bottom communities typical of most of the deep sea, but currently is moving toward seamounts. As such, my research often tends toward more general ecological and evolutionary questions that affect all organisms not just those in the deep.
What controls the number and composition of species in area?
How do these change through time and space and relate to gradients in environmental and biological factors?
As a graduate student I worked on how the environment through its control of body size and shell shape, influences biodiversity of deep-sea gastropods. In my first post-doctoral fellowship explored how large-scale deep-sea ecological/evolutionary processes mirrored those found in other systems. And in my current post-doctoral position at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, I am utilizing remote operated vehicles, combined with in situ manipulative experiments, to examine how local scale processes in food availability drive community assemblage and the effects of canyon dynamics on these processes.