I have broad interests in marine benthic soft-sediment ecology, especially in the ways in which species distribution patterns are established. This has included an experimental examination of habitat selection by marine invertebrate larvae at the time of settlement and metamorphosis. Experiments were carried out in laboratory flumes so that larval behavior could be examined under realistic flow conditions, and in the field on the continental shelf, and the study species include opportunistic capitellid polychaetes and mactrid bivalves. Life history studies of a suite of sibling species in the genus Capitella include the formal description of one of those species, Capitella teleta, a model species for studies in a number of diverse fields, and whose genome has now been sequenced. I am currently associated with a study (2012−2014) of the spatial distribution of benthic communities in Barnegat Bay with respect to a suite of environmental variables.
I received my undergraduate education at the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) and my graduate training at Duke University. After an ONR-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Queensland, I began research on marine invertebrate life histories and benthic community dynamics at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole. In 1989 I became a faculty member in the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, where I retired from teaching and research in 2015.