Ocean acidification is a recently-discovered phenomenon by which carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere dissolves into the oceans and lowers their pH, causing them to become more acidic. One major consequence (although other consequences will occur) of ocean acidification is that when the pH drops, many organisms that build their skeletons out of calcium carbonate (e.g., oysters, mussels, clams, snails, etc.) have a harder time doing so. If animals can’t build their skeleton, that leaves them vulnerable to a number of unwanted conditions and can often lead to their death!
I’m a marine invertebrate ecologist, currently working as a postdoctoral fellow with the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island. I am broadly interested in the biological effects of ocean acidification; that is, how ocean acidification impacts living organisms. Broadly, I am highly interested in how ocean acidification affects the behaviour of marine animals. My PhD research at the University of New Brunswick focused on the effects of coastal acidification on benthic invertebrates, namely bivalves. Specifically, my dissertation assessed the effects of sedimentary acidification on the settlement and recruitment of juvenile soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) utilizing laboratory, field, and mesocosm approaches to understand how sediment acidification affects juvenile bivalve behaviour. Previous research during my undergraduate degree at Cape Breton University explored various aspects related to the predatory ecology of the northern moonsnail (Lunatia heros) along the coasts of eastern Cape Breton Island. Check out my publications page for more specific details on my research!
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, cooking, hiking, photographing nature, listening to music (folk, indie, and classical are my go-to genres), and, of course, writing. I’m also an avid naturalist with a keen interest in entomology. I find solace in nature, feel beer is a human necessity, and think that a great cup of coffee can change a person’s life.