Welcome to my website. I am a coral reef researcher with broad interests in physiology and ecology of corals, invertebrates, and algae. As a coral/algal physiologist, my main focus is on better understanding the small-scale mechanisms that drive marine photosynthesis in organisms that thrive (or merely survive) in their harsh environments. My current research on native Hawaiian algae and invasive seaweeds seeks to elucidate the different physiological responses of these to natural habitat parameters in Hawaii, particularly habitats fed by submarine groundwater discharge (SGD). These groundwater dependent ecosystems have historically supported large native macroalgae populations, but are now under threat from invasive species, development, and climate change. Link to our most recent papers in Scientific Reports and Water Resources Research.
I earned my PhD at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in Marine Biology and my MS in Marine and Atmospheric Science at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University in New York. During my
dissertation research, I took a deep dive into the photophysiology of corals, investigating the function of coral host pigments, specifically chromoproteins. These blue/purple pigments apparently provide some photoprotection to the Hawaiian endemic coral Montipora flabellata, but at a cost…My Master’s degree research focused on coral disease and histopathology of the Caribbean coral, Orbicella faveolata.