Our lab is particularly interest in the mechanisms that control ecosystem resistance to disturbance events, whether they be hog trampling, boat traffic, or drought, and those that control the rates at which ecosystems recover from disturbance. Given the tremendous need for interventions to enhance ecosystem resilience to global change, we often partner with managers tasked with enacting such interventions to design more effective ecosystem restoration and creation efforts. In this trust areas, our lab works in primarily in coastal dune, oyster reef, mangrove and salt marsh ecosystems.
In recent years, our experiment research has exposed the powerful role that mutualistic interactions can play in modulating ecosystem resilience and restoration success (see papers led by Marlous Derksen-Hooijberg), as well as ecosystem stability (Crotty et al. 2019, Ecology Letters). Alongside our collaborators and partners, we have also experimented with different planting designs to optimize sand dune restoration success (Fischman et al. 2019, Proceedings of the Royal Society B), different substrates to facilitate oyster reef restoration (Johnson et al. 2019, PeerJ), and different materials to mimic plant neighbors in support of both salt marsh and seagrass restoration (Temmink et al, in press, Nature Communications).