Like a hippopotamus in Lake Tanganyika, my dissertation research was big, hot, and wet. By big, I mean that I worked with tiny barnacles and the snails that eat them (this is a flawed simile). By hot, I mean that I investigated problems relevant to climate change. I integrated ecology across levels of orgnaization to study how warming affects individuals, populations, and communities. As for wet, my study system wasn't always wet—the rocky intertidal zone is half-land half-sea, which means double the fun.
In sum, how do populations and community interactions respond to warming?
To address that question, I used experiments, field observations, and mathematical modeling. I split my time with one foot in Seattle and the other in Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island.
I've always loved reading fiction. Throughout my PhD, I devled into nontfiction by listening to barnacles, who despite their illiteracy tell some excellent ecological stories.