Graham Worthy, PhD
Graham Worthy, PhD is the Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor of Biology and Hubbs-Sea World Professor of Marine Mammalogy. The ultimate goal of his research lab, the Physiological Ecology and Bioenergetics Lab (PEBL), is to better understand marine ecosystem function, and ultimately ocean health, by examining interrelationships between species and how those species respond to natural and anthropogenic perturbations. PEBL is actively engaged in the emerging field of Conservation Physiology which explores how species respond to natural and anthropogenic perturbations and attempts to determine the ecophysiological constraints dictated by current conditions and future environmental change. Employing ecological and physiological theory, Conservation Physiology takes a multidisciplinary and integrative approach that incorporates both field and laboratory based research and ultimately explores the linkage between environmental change and ecological success. It aims to determine and assess the proximate abiotic factors that impose fitness consequences upon organisms as a result of anthropogenic threats and allows us to forecast likely responses of organisms to environmental change. For conservation strategies to be successful it is important to understand the physiological responses of organisms to their changing environment and to develop an understanding of what causes conservation problems in order to suggest potential solutions.
David G. Jenkins, PhD
David G. Jenkins, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and the Ying Eminent Scholar in Biology. Dr. Jenkins' research interests center around ecological questions of organismal dispersal, including individual behavior, metapopulation biology, community assembly, metacommunity dynamics, macroecology, and biogeography. Because dispersal is typically hard to study for many organisms, they sometimes study spatial and temporal patterns that result from dispersal. Beyond basic questions of how natural systems work, their research often has application to conservation biology. He and his graduate students have been conducting research on a variety of organisms and ecological systems, though many of their studies involve wetlands. Undergraduates are a major part of the work in the lab, and some develop their own research projects related to other studies or tuned to their own interest. Dr. Jenkins says "our department takes a sincere interest in the personal growth and progress of our graduate students. I'm very happy to be working with faculty and students here, and I think others feel the same way."
Betsy Von Holle, PhD
Betsy Von Holle, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. Dr. Von Holle is interested in the landscape patterns and community mechanisms that influence the addition of species into ecosystems. Her research interests span four related themes: 1) the investigation of ecosystem and anthropogenic factors that influence invasion by nonnative species, 2) understanding changes in ecosystem function as a result of ecological restoration, 3) the characterization of the impact and type of species to invade natural areas, and 4) economic impacts and policy implications of nonnative species invasions. Future and ongoing Von Holle lab projects include the influence of global climate change on nonnative plant distribution and reproduction; the effect of and historical and landscape connectivity on habitat invisibility by nonnative plants; restoration for rare plants and habitats in Florida and Cape Cod; the effects of high-impact plants (EPPC Category I or II) on Florida ecosystems, and facilitations between nonnative species.