My research area is marine benthic ecology; I study how the distribution and abundance of animals living on the seafloor are affected by physical, chemical, and biological oceanographic processes. This is actually a two-way street, in that benthic animals also influence sediment chemical and physical properties, such as organic matter cycling and sediment transport. Recent research has focused on the role of benthic animals in bioremediation of contaminated sediments, the role of sedimentary microbial food webs in recycling of organic matter in sediments, and response of benthic animals to marsh restoration efforts. Presently, I am investigating how benthic community structure in Barnegat Bay is affected by natural stressors, such as storm events, and potential anthropogenic stressors, such as excessive nutrient inputs.
I did my undergraduate work at Purdue University (B.S. in Biology), graduate school at the University of Washington (M.S. and Ph.D. in Oceanography), and was a postdoctoral scholar at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Following that, I was an assistant and associate professor at Oregon State University. I came to Rutgers in 1992 shortly after the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences was established.
Introduction to Oceanography (Undergraduate)
Human Interactions with the Coastal Ocean (Undergraduate)
Ocean Ecology (Undergraduate)
Biological Oceanography (Graduate)