Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
Thomas Pettengill '17
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Research Mentor Mark Bertness
Pettengill will examine the relationship between spatial patterns of mussel mounds and local fluxes of larvae, food, and nutrients in Southeastern Atlanic salt marshes. His project will focus specifically on mounds created by the abundant species Geukensia demissa, which is found throughout salt marshes in this region. He hopes to understand whether physical processes, such as flow, ultimately predict the distribution and abundance of foundation species like G. demissa. This work will help community ecologists to better understand the deterministic patterns that dictate ecological structure and function, and will enable and inform effective restoration and conservation in the face of increasing human impacts on marine ecosystems.