- Ph.D. University of Hawaii
- B.A. Vassar College
- Principal Scientist in the National Center for Natural Products Research
- Research Professor of Environmental Toxicology in BioMolecular Sciences
- Adjunct Professor of Biology
My research interests are interdisciplinary and collaborative, and lie primarily in the chemical adaptations of marine organisms to pathogens, predators, and competitors. This research combines field ecology with laboratory-based analyses to bridge the gap between individual responses and patterns at the population and community landscape levels. I have worked extensively on diseases in marine invertebrates, particularly corals and sponges, and their responses ranging from the immunological/cellular level to the community level. These early metaozoans often lack traditional immune functions and instead invest extensively in defensive secondary metabolites; I am interested in how these chemical defenses help individuals within populations and communities.
Current research projects include evaluating climate change impacts (including extreme storm and flooding events), nutrient stress, sedimentation, invasive species and the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the health of sponges, corals, and most recently – oysters. These and other stressors have physiological effects on organisms that impact not only their own survival, but also their interactions with other organisms in their communities.