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Department of Biology

Bob Christian awarded a Summer Visiting Scientist Award at the
Baruch Marine Field Laboratory

Summer 2010 

 christian Bob Christian received a Summer Visiting Scientist Award at the Baruch Marine Field Laboratory (BMFL), University of South Carolina.  He will visit the laboratory 3 times this year, including a two week stay in July. During this time, he will interact with scientists and students at the BMFL, give a seminar and conduct a collaborative study on geomorphology of tidal creeks and ecosystem function.
The relationship between geomorphology and ecosystem function is an issue of significance for both scientific understanding and environmental management. 

Understanding the relationship has driven considerable research on coastal ecosystems. 

The research project to be begun this summer addresses the issue by extending recent findings by Dennis Allen and colleagues on the nekton of tidal creeks within the North-Inlet Estuary.  Allen and Christian will apply a modeling approach called ecological network analysis based on these data.  The project will unite the considerable expertise of these systems available at BMFL with Christian's of ecological network analysis.  Specifically, the scientists will address the following question: How does the geomorphology of creeks affect trophic structure and dynamics?    The initial products of this research will be a series of network models of tidal creek food webs.  These will be used to provide a unique assessment of the relationship between creek structure and an important aspect of ecosystem function.