OSyM Participants

    • Type of Researcher
    Members
    Shirley Baker
    Organismal Biologist
    Associate Professor
    University of Florida
    sbaker25@ufl.edu
    Shirley Baker
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    My research addresses knowledge gaps that limit our understanding of cultured clams and natural or restored oyster reefs in Florida’s coastal and estuarine ecosystems. I examines the effects of water quality on shellfish productivity, the physiological mechanisms that underlie those effects, the provision of ecosystem services by shellfish, and the development of models to predict impacts of water quality parameters on shellfish productivity and provision of ecosystem services. I provide leadership and support to the shellfish industry, agriculture industry, and citizens of Florida in the areas of aquaculture and molluscan invasions and engage with county and statewide faculty to identify emerging industry needs, collaboratively conduct appropriate research, and deliver sustainable solutions to stakeholders.


    Biographical Info

    I recieved an MS from the University of Oregon where I was advised by Drs. Bob and Nora Terwilliger. I earned a PhD from the College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences where I worked with Dr. roger Mann. I was a postdoc at Macalester College, in St. Paul Minnesota, as well as at SUNY Stony Brook. I have been at the University of Florida for over 20 years.


    Alexa Bely
    Organismal Biologist
    Associate Professor
    University of Maryland
    Biology Department
    abely@umd.edu
    Bely Lab
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    I have broad interests in the organismal biology of aquatic invertebrates. Our work has focused especially on the evolution and development of regeneration and asexual reproduction and on the biology of freshwater annelids. Our work spans levels of inquiry, from molecular and cell biology, to physiology, to ecology and evolution.


    Biographical Info

    I received my PhD in Ecology and Evolution from Stony Brook University and was a postdoc in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. I am currently and Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.


    Nicholas Burnett
    Biomechanic, Ecomechanic, Organismal Biologist
    Postdoctoral Researcher
    University of California - Davis
    Dept. Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior
    burnettnp@gmail.com
    Website
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    Most of my research investigates how fluid flow in the environment – whether in air or in water – impacts organisms, but I am also interested in the effects of other stressors, such as thermal stress, predation risk, and disturbance, on organisms. My PhD work investigated (1) the mechanical and physiological adaptations that allow kelp to survive in wave-swept habitats and (2) the ecological and mechanical interactions between kelp and the destructive herbivores living and feeding on the kelp. Now as a postdoc, I am investigating (1) the flight and behavioral strategies that bees use to traverse moving, wind-blown vegetation and (2) the effects of wing design on the physiology and flight performance of bees in wind.


    Biographical Info

    I received a BS from the University of South Carolina where I worked with Drs. David Wethey, Brian Helmuth, and Fernando Lima. I then received a PhD from the University of California - Berkeley where I was advised by Dr. Mimi Koehl. I am now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California - Davis where I am advised by Dr. Stacey Combes.


    Emily Carrington
    Biomechanic, Ecomechanic, Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    University of Washington
    Friday Harbor Laboratories
    ecarring@uw.edu
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    Research in the Carrington Lab follows an ecomechanical approach to the study of living systems, applying the basic engineering principles to evaluate how coastal organisms interact with their environment. Our work involves both plants and animals and spans many levels of biological organization, from the mechanics of biological materials, to the persistence of populations, to the characterization of the physical environment. A central goal of our research is to understand how coastal organisms with cope with ocean change, such as ocean acidification and warming.


    Biographical Info

    Emily Carrington grew up in Michigan and North Carolina, always fascinated with water and the creatures that lived in it. She received a BA in Biology from Cornell University in 1985 a doctoral degree from Stanford University in 1992 (advised by Dr. Mark Denny). She was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. John Gosline’s laboratory at UBC before joining the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Rhode Island in 1995. She has been on the faculty of the UW Department of Biology since 2005.


    Keywords: functional genomics
    Sarah Cohen
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    San Francisco State University
    Estuary and Ocean Science Center
    sarahcoh@sfsu.edu
    Twitter
    Keywords: conservation genetics, inverebrate biology, immunogenetics, phylogeography, candidate loci, marine invasions
    Caitlyn Collins
    Organismal Biologist
    Master of Science Candidate
    Bloomsburg University
    cc51930@huskies.bloomu.edu
    Research Summary

    Her research is focused in physiological ecology. Her masters thesis was on sea urchins and their physiological impacts due to near future sea surface temperatures. She did a laboratory study that focused on the behavioral and feeding changes that occurred when sea urchins were exposed to increase water temperatures. She also did a field study that described distribution of those sea urchins in their natural habitat and related it back to her laboratory study.


    Biographical Info

    Caitlyn Collins is from Philadelphia, PA. She received her Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and General Biology from East Stroudsburg University. Her undergraduate research explored meiofauna populations and how climate could impact their communities. She attends Bloomsburg University, pursuing a Master of Science. Her thesis research examines the thermal tolerance of the sea urchins Echinometra lucunter and Eucidaris tribuloides and how it affects their feeding rates. This is being done in the laboratory at Bloomsburg University, as well as in the field in Roatan, Honduras and the Florida Keys. This will help predict how the sea urchins physiology could change with ocean warming and the impact that will have on their respective environments.


    Noah Cowan
    Engineer, Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    Johns Hopkins University
    Department of Mechanical Engineering
    ncowan@jhu.edu
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    We study sensorimotor control of animal movement, using a “control theoretic” perspective; specifically, we use mathematical models of biomechanics, together with principles of control theory, to design perturbations. The responses to these perturbations can be used to furnish a quantitative description of the way the nervous system processes sensory information for control.


    Biographical Info

    Noah J. Cowan received a BS degree from the Ohio State University, Columbus, in 1995, and MS and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1997 and 2001 – all in electrical engineering. Following his PhD, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley for two years. In 2003, he joined the mechanical engineering department at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, where he is now a professor. Prof. Cowan’s research interests include mechanics and multisensory control in animals and machines. Prof. Cowan received the NSF PECASE award in 2010, the James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award in Complex Systems in 2012, and the William H. Huggins Award for excellence in teaching in 2004.


    Keywords: control theory, sensiromotor control, neuromechanics, hippocampus
    Mark Denny
    Biomechanic, Ecomechanic, Modeler, Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    Stanford University
    Hopkins Marine Station
    mwdenny@stanford.edu
    Research Summary

    At the heart of all of our studies are the interactions between individual organisms and between organisms and their physical environment. These are the concerns of an emerging field know as ecological mechanics. By exploring the mechanical and physiological design of nearshore organisms, we hope to reveal how they evolved to thrive and compete amidst the severe stresses of the wave-swept shore. The principles that have guided evolution and ecology in this exceptionally harsh environment can provide valuable insight into the design of all plants and animals, and will help us to understand how organisms will cope with our changing climate.


    Biographical Info

    I was introduced to biomechanics by Steve Wainwright and Steve Vogel while I was an undergraduate at Duke. I then had the privilege of working with John Gosline at UBC for my doctorate on the thrilling subject of slug slime. A postdoc with Bob Paine at U. Washington introduced me to the ecological side of biomechanics. After a short stint at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, I moved to Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, where I have been ever since.


    Keywords: ecological mechanics
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