Current lab members

Gbenga Dehemin (MS 2025, UGA)

Gbenga joined our lab in 2023.  Gbenga did his undergraduate work at the University of Lagos (Marine Sciences; 2018) and then worked as a biology teacher, science tutor, and graphic designer.   Gbenga started his MS by doing an internship with the Georgia Coastal Ecosystem LTER program.  In his application, Gbenga noted that "Nothing interests me more than the idea of instigating change around me".  We expect him to conduct research on our biomimic project, investigating how temperature fluctuations drive the thermal ecology of marsh organisms.

Kelsey Vaughn (PhD 2027, UGA)

Kelsey joined our lab in 2022 after receiving her BS from the University of Arkansas (2019) and her MS from the University of the Virgin Islands (2021).  She's interested in coral reef ecology and is starting to explore dissertation topics in Moorea.

Alex Primo (PhD 2026, UGA)

Alex joined our lab in 2020 after graduating from UCSB in 2018 and working with us in Moorea in 2019.  He's interested in coral-associated invertebrates, how these macro-symbionts interact with and influence coral dynamics, and the role of intraspecific variation in the behavior of the symbionts.

Dan Cryan (PhD 2026, UGA)

Dan joined our lab in Fall 2020 after graduating from Stanford University in 2018 and doing an internship at the EPA in 2020.  Dan is interested in marine conservation and the intersection of community ecology, biogeography, and behavioral ecology.  He is especially interested in fish cleaning mutualisms, how these systems respond to environmental stressors, including fishing, and how cleaning mutualisms might influence coral-algae dynamics.

Nikki Solano (PhD 2024, UGA)

Nikki joined our lab in 2022, and is co-advised by Courtney Murdock (at Cornell University).  Nikki is interested in mosquito population dynamics, the roles of the microenvironment (especially temperature and humidity) and density-dependence.  She's also a dedicated teacher and mentor; and she embraces the integration of the arts and sciences.

Rebecca Atkins (PhD 2022, UGA)

Rebecca works on Littoraria - Spartina interactions in east-coast saltmarshes. She is particularly interested in latitudinal variation in the strength of the interaction and the factors (including temperature and size-structure) that shift the interaction from beneficial to deleterious.  She had an NSF predoctoral fellowship (as well as a UGA Presidential Fellowship) and was a Knauss Policy Fellow in 2022-23.  [her webpage]

Amy Briggs (PhD 2022, UGA)

Amy is examining the environmental drivers of ciguatoxic dinoflagellates (the cause of ciguatoxic finfish poisoning, CFP) and the food-web implications of these dinoflagellates.  Much of her work focuses on the role of the spatial distribution of algae and microbes in determining the local abundance of the dinoflagellates, their effect on herbivorous fishes, and their link to human incidence of CFP. [her webpage]