Maria Paola Lopez-Duarte
Our primary research interests focus on the behavior and ecology of invertebrates and fish, especially the factors controlling larval dispersal, transport, and recruitment to adult habitats. Our work encompasses several research areas: larval ecology; population connectivity; impacts of anthropogenic stressors on marsh communities; trophic ecology; coupled bio-physical models.
What behaviors control the dispersal and recruitment of marine organisms?
We investigate the role of endogenous (internal) and exogenous (external) factors in the success of early life stages
How can we identify spawning/natal areas and measure population connectivity?
We use microchemistry (a natural geochemical tag) to identify source and sink populations
What effects do environmental stressors have on the energy flow in food webs?
We measure dietary biomarkers (e.g., sable isotopes and fatty acids) in tissues from a range of terrestrial and aquatic consumer species to identify and quantify predator-prey interactions.