Ph.D. Marine Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill

B.S. Biology, Duke University




252-726-6841 Ext: 228


My research seeks to understand the top down and bottom up drivers of phytoplankton biomass and community composition in lakes, rivers, and estuaries.  I am particularly interested in how natural ecosystem characteristics such as residence time, grazer communities, and vertical mixing regimes interact with nutrient and light availability to affect bloom dynamics, phytoplankton community composition, and water quality conditions.  Recent studies have underscored the critical role of interactions between hydrological forcing and nutrient loading in determining phytoplankton biomass and community structure, including toxic harmful algal bloom species.

Current Projects include:

  1. investigating the causes of recent cyanobacterial blooms on the Cape Fear River, NC using combined field data collection, and numerical modeling approaches
  2. trend analyses of eutrophication-related water quality change within the Cape Fear River drainage and Albemarle Sound ecosystem
  3. analysis of the nutrient budgets for Jordan Lake, NC and Lake Taihu, China to determine targets for nutrient load reductions to meet water quality criteria
  4. quantifying the phytoplankton photosynthesis versus irradiance relationship in Jordan Lake, NC to improve models of eutrophication
  5. comparative analysis of methods for measuring ammonium in coastal waters