Research themes

My research pursues several complimentary themes concerning marine primary productivity, ecosystem ecology, fisheries science, and applied statistics. Key topics include regional and global modeling of marine phytoplankton production, the impact of environmental variability on marine ecosystems and food webs, and the productivity of exploited fish populations. Quantitative statistics and modeling provides the methodological core for my work, utilizing tools from time series analysis, spatial statistics, hierarchical modeling, and extreme value theory, often from a Bayesian perspective. My approach typically integrates empirical analyses with a theoretical or process-based understanding of a system in question. A longterm goal of my work is the improved management of living marine resources through ecosystem-based decision making, particularly in the context of climate and oceanographic change.

Living marine resources

Marine fisheries represent one of the first and far-reaching human uses of our natural resources, yet stocks have been impacted in recent decades by overfishing, habitat destruction, and the accelerating pace of climate change. My work in this area includes regional and global analysis of recruitment and growth variability, probabilistic modeling of recovery trajectories for depleted stocks, development of statistical stock assessment and decision-theoretic methods, and climate impact modeling using projections from general circulation models. I am also interested in aquacultural systems where I help develop models of harmful algal blooms in marine farms and coastal systems.

Marine ecosystems and food webs

I maintain a broad interest in the underlying structure and dynamics of marine populations and ecosystems. My published work in this area has investigated the dynamics of community matrix models and the role of top down control, the balance between primary production and carbon export, and the trophic structure of marine ecosystems on contemporary and geological timescales. Recent work has investigated how primary production and grazing respond to environmental variation on hourly to seasonal timescales.

Satellite remote sensing

Satellite remote sensing provides an unparalleled source of information on marine ecosystem processes. I use these data as central tools to inform studies across my research topics, including primary and fisheries productivity modelling, and the estimation of export production. I am particularly interested in developing new remote-sensing-based models of marine primary productivity and advancing their use in fisheries management and climate impact monitoring, including applications across spatial and temporal scales.

Ecological and environmental statistics

I have an ongoing interest in applied environmental statistics beyond applications in my core research areas. Through diverse collaborations I have helped develop statistical methodology to address questions of progress toward international biodiversity targets, the dynamics of international wildlife trade, paleo-atmospheric chemistry, spatial-temporal patterns of microbial genetic diversity, among others. Much of my statistical work makes use of Bayesian theory - to this end I have a general interest in the use and development of probabilistic programming languages and associated packages to perform Bayesian inference on complex ecological and environmental datasets.