Faculty

Coastal Ecosystems Group

Dr. Patrick Biber, Marine Botany

Dr. Patrick Biber, Marine botany

I work on physiology to landscapes, using tools such as PAM fluorescence, quantum sensors, SCUBA, and GIS. My lab is working on projects in saltmarsh restoration, seagrass light requirements, and chlorophyll analyses.

Dr. Mark Peterson, Nekton (fish and decapods) resource ecology

Dr. Mark Peterson, Nekton (fish and decapods) resource ecology

My research interests are broadly focused on habitat-use in nekton, with particular emphasis on factors affecting recruitment success in estuarine-dependent fishes and the tradeoffs made by nekton when living in different habitats. I am particularly interested in the impacts of habitat alteration on recruitment and habitat use, the basic biology and ecology of invasive species and the impacts they have on native communities, how alteration of watersheds influence essential fish habitat of resident and estuarine-dependent species, and restoration trajectories of important coastal habitat.

Dr. Kevin Dillon, Biogeochemical cycles of nutrients, stable isotopes

Dr. Kevin Dillon, Biogeochemical cycles of nutrients, stable isotopes

My main research interest is in the biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nutrients in coastal ecosystems. We are evaluating the nitrogen dynamics in surface waters of the Mississippi Sound to examine the sources, sinks and bioavailability of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON). To determine the source of DON, we are characterizing the outwelling of organic matter from terrestrial watersheds and wetlands.

Dr. Chet Rakocinski, Benthic Ecology

Dr. Chet Rakocinski, Benthic Ecology

My research centers around benthic ecology and fisheries ecology in marine, estuarine, and freshwater habitats. Research efforts address macrobenthic responses to environmental change and anthropogenic alteration, recruitment ecology of early life-stages of estuarine dependent fisheries species, habitat use, trophic ecology, and the effects of biotic interactions on trophic relationships.

Dr. Wei Wu, landscape ecology, sea-level rise

Dr. Wei Wu, landscape ecology, sea-level rise

My research has recently focused on applying statistical and process models, integrated with GIS and remotely sensed data, to study hydrological and biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial ecosystems. In addition I use these models to link upstream activities to the water quality downstream under various scenarios of air pollutions, natural disturbances, climate change and land use / land cover change. I am also interested in studying salt marsh migration due to accelerated sea level rise.