*NEW PROJECT STARTING OCTOBER 2020*
I am questioning how different species are linked across different interaction types (e.g. cooperation, competition and predation) and how these multiple relationships contribute to the health and stability of reef ecosystems.
For more info visit: The Reef Network
The sharknose goby (Elacatinus evelynae), a predominant Caribbean cleaner fish.
I'm particularly interested in determining how changing ecological, environmental and social conditions influence the outcome of interactions. Behavioural interactions are inherently dynamic and my work aims to find consistent interaction patterns that are independent of changing external conditions.
Reef environments are an ideal system for studying the dynamics of behavioural interactions. Coral reefs host more species per unit area than any other marine system, so a myriad of interactions types occur (e.g. cleaning, predation, competition, and social). These different interactions are ultimately responsible for shaping the reef community structure.
My work has previously focused on cleaning and territoriality, two keystone interactions for reef ecology.
My PhD investigated the evolution of cleaning by determining how (mostly) Caribbean cleaning interactions are maintained from an individual to community level. I used field based methods and long-term data to determine what factors cause variation in cleaner and client interaction decisions.
My research aims to identify factors that influence animal interaction patterns, and large-scale spatial temporal datasets are crucial for capturing and understanding behavioural variations.
My PhD was primarily based around a unique and extensive long-term (8 year, 2010 - 2017) dataset. These data quantified the cleaning interactions between a predominant Caribbean cleaner fish (Elacatinus evelynae) and over 47 different client fish species on the same reef in Tobago every summer.