“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe”. John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911, page 110.
I am currently employed as a research fellow at the Australia Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia. Here, I work on a diverse range of research projects, from investigating the difference in nekton assemblages in deep and shallow seagrass habitats within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, through to research on the long-term impacts of oil spills on mangrove forest recovery in southern Australia.
Before moving home to Australia to work at Griffith University, I lived in the USA, where I was employed as a postdoctoral research ecologist in the Chapman lab at Villanova University, located in Pennsylvania, USA. My research focused on how climate change is driving the poleward range expansion of tropical plant species into temperate saltmarsh habitat, and how this expansion and colonization is changing plant and soil characteristics.
Previous to my current role at Villanova University I was employed as a postdoctoral research fellow at The Smithsonian Environmental Research Centre, in Maryland, USA. Here, working in the Feller lab, I studied the effects of climate change and eutrophication on the northern range limit extension of coastal plants. I am particularly interested in understanding the processes that limit the geographical range of species. I am also interested in how nutrient enrichment affects inter and intra-specific interactions in coastal wetland plants.
I completed my PhD in the field of ecology at The University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia. Here, under the direction of Professor Catherine Lovelock, my research focused on the influence of nutrient enrichment and hydrology on processes that influence plant growth and carbon dynamics in coastal wetland systems. Prior to my PhD I completed an MSc in Environmental Management at Ulster University, in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. For my MSc research project I traveled to Gazi Bay, Kenya, where I conducted research into how species dynamics across the intertidal zone influence sedimentation rates. I also have a BSc in Biology (Hons) from Birkbeck University, London, UK.
Prior to my employment as a postdoctoral researcher at the Smithsonian Institute, I was also fortunate to be employed by The University of Queensland, in the role of boating and diving officer at the UQ Moreton Bay Research Station. During this time I was awarded the Queensland Government Smithsonian Research Fellowship Award, which allowed me to take time off from my role at UQ and travel to the USA and Panama where I conducted research into competition dynamics in coastal wetland plants.
I am an avid scuba diver and love to dive as often as time allows me. I also regularly hike and enjoy visiting National and State Parks. I recently spent three months traveling around the USA and Canada and was privileged to visit many of the major National Parks in both of these countries.