About me

I am a community ecologist studying how species interactions shape the structure, functioning, and stability of nearshore marine ecosystems. I focus on temperate rocky reefs and am particularly interested in how climatic perturbations (e.g., marine heatwaves) alter the behavioral responses of predators and herbivores, and how these interactions in-turn affect community and ecosystem dynamics. I received my Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, where I studied how a marine heatwave and a catastrophic sea star epizootic led to an outbreak of purple sea urchins. In turn, this behavioral shift in purple sea urchins scaled-up to alter the foraging patterns of their main predator, the southern sea otter. After completing my Ph.D. degree, I conducted postdoctoral research at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, where I synthesized social and ecological outcomes of the California marine protected areas network across multiple coastal marine ecosystems. I am currently a Conservation Research Fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where I am leading research to understand mechanisms of kelp forest recovery.