Current Lab Members
My main goals are to understand how responses to environmental stress, such as toxic chemicals, link across levels of biological organization - from molecular to ecosystem levels – and to use such understanding to improve ecological risk assessment and environmental management. Most of my work has involved aquatic invertebrates, and in particular animals that live in and feed on sediment since this is where many of the most harmful chemicals entering the environment accumulate.
Chiara Accolla, Postdoctoral Associate
I am interested in modelling impacts of stressors on ecological systems. Most of my work focuses on developing models at the individual level (IBM) in order to extrapolate effects of stressors, inter- and intra-species interactions at population and higher levels of biological organization. In particular, I have worked on predator-prey interactions and currently I want to analyze the consequences of chemicals on producer-consumer dynamics.
I am interested in the application of population viability analysis in conservation biology, ecological risk assessments and decision-making. I want to develop a functional framework with concrete guidelines on the use of population viability analysis in such settings. For instance, currently I want to determine the most appropriate way to model population dynamics for listed plant species within the “fast-slow” continuum of life history variation. I am also fascinated by the study of population dynamics (theoretical and empirical aspects of it) and how different ecological variables can correlate with extinction risk. Lastly, as an ecologist and nature lover, I am concerned with how climate change impacts biodiversity, therefore I am interested in the incorporation of climate change in population viability analysis.
Rebecca Hochstein, Postdoctoral Associate
My project involves the investigation of the gut microbiome of the marine worm Capitella teleta, an opportunistic marine polychaete often found at high densities after oil spills and in association with other organic pollution. The overall goal is to explore the relationship between the worm and its microbiome by examining both how contaminant exposure alters the microbiome and the role of bacteria and archaea in contaminant metabolism and sediment bioremediation.
Maxime Vaugeois, Postdoctoral Associate
My research is focused on modeling organisms at the individual or sub-individual scale to analyze the emerging dynamics at the population scale using Individual-Based-Modeling (IBM). I am mainly interested in the impacts on fish populations of different stressors such as estrogens and other contaminants of emerging concern. I am also interested in predator-prey systems and particularly in impacts of stressors on them.
Past Lab Members
I am interested in quantifying impacts of stressors on ecological systems, using experimental and modeling approaches. A lot of my work has focused on developing ecological models to translate stressor effects on individuals to consequences for populations and ecosystem services. Stressors include chemicals such as pesticides, invasive species and impacts of global warming. Currently I am working on a trait-based food web model to assess the consequences of multiple stressors on aquatic ecosystem structure and function.
Current Position: Ecological Modeler, Syngenta, Greensboro, NC