March 2018

We are pleased to introduce two new researchers into the Pandolfi Lab in 2018.

Tim Staples – Post-Doctoral Researcher

I am a community and quantitative ecologist whose research explores community ecology questions in a range of taxa and systems. I am particularly interested in the application of functional traits and statistical techniques to improve our understanding of how natural communities form and function, and how they change over time.

My past research has examined mechanisms of coexistence between closely-related wildflower species, the relationship between species diversity and primary productivity in reforestation plantings, whether evolutionary context alters relationships between plant functional traits and growth rate, and predicting whether reforestation efforts are likely to develop expected conservation and carbon storage benefits.

I am also interested in the research habits of ecologists, particularly in their publication and citation habits. I have been involved in a collaborative project examining the use of community ecology theory in restoration ecology experiments. I have also examined the interconnectivity in applied ecology more generally by web scraping publication and citation data.

My current research in the Marine Paleoecology lab is focused on using datasets of fossil coral to study communities over large time periods, something that is nearly impossible for communities of other long-lived taxa (e.g., trees). Some of my research projects include studying patterns of co-occurrence between coral, both community membership and actual interactions, and with PhD student Malyon Bimler, whether theoretical concepts of community stability are realistic for real-world community data.

 

Nick Hammerman – PhD Candidate

Nick Hammerman is joining the lab in April of 2018. He is originally from the United States where he obtained his Bachelors in Marine Science at Roger Williams University and then completed his Masters in Biological Oceanography at the University of Puerto Rico, Department of Marine Sciences. His work mostly dealt with population genomics, phylogeography, as well as species interactions and diversity on both shallow and mesophotic reefs.

His current PhD project will likely revolve around paleoecology of coral reefs.