My research seeks to answer two broad questions related to advancing restoration efforts:

 

1. What social and methodological knowledge gaps exist in coastal habitat restoration?

In order to better develop restoration methodologies, we must first understand what we do and don't know. To better identify knowledge gaps, I synthesized the existing literature on restoration to determine how restoration of salt marshes, seagrasses, and oyster reefs differ in approach and effort.

 
 Monitoring seagrass beds in NC to determine how restoring oyster reefs adjacent to existing seagrass beds affects seagrass biomass with Dr. Rachel Gittman.

Monitoring seagrass beds in NC to determine how restoring oyster reefs adjacent to existing seagrass beds affects seagrass biomass with Dr. Rachel Gittman.

2. Can we harness positive interactions among species to enhance restoration success and yield?

project 1: How does restoring oyster reefs adjacent to existing seagrass beds affect seagrass biomass?

This work is being done in collaboration with Dr. Rachel Gittman at ECU and Dr. Joel Fodrie at UNC-Chapel Hill.

 

Project 2: can clams facilitate seagrass restoration?

Previous research by Dr. Joel Fodrie and Abigail Poray indicated that clams may facilitate seagrasses by increasing nutrient transfer from the water column to the sediment and thus impacting grass growth and reproductive effort. My research seeks to build upon this finding to determine if hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) can facilitate the germination growth of seagrass seeds used in restoration. This research is funded by an NC Sea Grant-APNEP fellowship.