As a result of being a conscientious objector who refuses to fly to academic conferences—because conferences generally have an obscene carbon footprint, and they are a terribly inefficient mechanism for advancing science—my applications for tenure and subsequent promotion to full professor have been critiqued by colleagues for low attendance at conferences.
My lab studies fundamental questions in biodiversity using an interdisciplinary approach that combines genomics, molecular evolution, developmental biology, organismal biology, and ecology. We focus on coastal marine invertebrates—especially sea anemones, corals, and jellyfishes.
We have played a central role in developing the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, into a model system for genomics and developmental biology. Our current research focuses on microevolutionary variation in organismal stress tolerance, with a focus on sea anemones and corals from New England as well as the reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves of Belize.