Marine Ecology and Conservation

Shark

Our program emphasizes testing and refining general ecological theory and concepts in marine systems with the goal that answers will: (1) make important contributions to our understanding of ecological patterns and processes in marine ecosystems, and (2) be applied to sustainable management of natural resources and coastal communities. Examples of ecological theory and concepts tested include: (i) functional response framework for predicting predator-prey dynamics, (ii) optimization theory for predicting animal movement, (iii) metapopulation dynamics to assess population source/sink habitats, (iv) landscape ecological concepts to conserve and restore habitat, and (v) biocomplexity theory to understand resilient systems.

 

Taking Samples on a Boat

Collecting samples in the field

We use a combination of field observations, field and laboratory experiments, computer simulation modeling, and geochemical tracer and molecular tools to test assumptions and develop a mechanistic understanding of animal behavior, population connectivity and ecosystem dynamics.

Study systems range from tropical to temperate, and shallow estuarine to deep-sea. Study species range from marine and freshwater fish to macro-invertebrates, especially crabs, lobster and bivalves.

Research spans the disciplines of biology, ecology, physics, economics, mathematics, statistics, and chemistry. Graduates become future leaders in academia, research and management.


Videos

Please give videos a little time to load.

Oyster metapopulation Dynamics

 

Oyster restoration in Pamlico Sound

 

Impact of sport divers on spiny lobster

 

Endangered Estuaries: Blue Crabs

Good Humor Band – has videos!