Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Morgan Ivens-Duran '12


Morgan Ivens-Duran '12 is a senior concentrating in Marine Biology, and is interested in anthropogenic impacts on marine coastal ecology. She is currently working on a senior honors thesis with Professor Leslie (EEB/ES) and Brown-MBL EEB graduate student Sarah Corman. She is studying the phenology of Spartina alterniflora, a foundation species in salt marshes along the East Coast. Sub-habitats within a salt marsh are characterized by different ecomorphs of S. alterniflora, which are a phenotypic indicator of the environmental conditions experienced by those plants. Her research considers the impact of tidal inundation frequency, which affects soil temperature and salinity, on the timing of S. alterniflora flowering by transplanting between and within different ecomorphs. Her  research will enhance our understanding of the S. alterniflora growth cycle, which has implications for the ability of salt marshes to persist in the face of climate change.  She is one of the two leaders of the Marine Biology Department Undergraduate Group at Brown, and is originally from Los Angeles, CA. She enjoys reading, cooking, and visiting aquariums in her spare time.