My experiences on and in the ocean, particularly in developing countries and as a former fisherman, are reflected in my research and writing focus: How is marine life changing - What does it mean - What can we do about it? In practice, addressing these challenging, wide-ranging questions has involved studying ecological change in marine species that span the ecosystem’s breadth from microscopic phytoplankton to top predators at scales ranging from small-scale to global, and that play out in the past, present, and future oceans. I primarily investigate these questions by applying statistical models to complex data that are available over broad space and time scales. This general approach is referred to as macroecology and provides a way of quantifying and testing the generality of ecological dynamics that often are difficult to resolve using smaller-scale experimental or field-based approaches.
Scroll below for examples of some of my focal areas:
Climate impacts on marine life
Climate change is disrupting marine species and ecosystems through a multitude of complex pathways. I’m interested in understanding how species and ecosystems are at risk from climate change - which will be winners or losers when they will be affected, and how their risk varies geographically. By assessing climate risk appropriately, we can better understand the potential socioeconomic consequences of climate changes while also developing climate-ready conservation and management strategies for sustainable marine life.
A climate risk index for marine life (2022) Nature Climate Change.
Operationalizing climate risk for fisheries in a global warming hotspot. (2022) bioRxiv
In A climate risk index for marine life (Nature Climate Change), we developed a "climate report card" that assesses the climate risk for marine species and ecosystems at all locations where they exist. Just as a report card grades students in subjects such as math and science, this figure shows how we assess each species on 12 specific climate risk factors under different climate emission scenarios. The study provides a new decision-support tool that can assist in developing strategies to manage and conserve marine life under climate change, monitor changing climate risk and gauge progress toward risk reduction.