Seagrasses worldwide are declining at rates exceeding the rates of loss of rainforests and coral reefs. In British Columbia, we have vast seagrass ecosystems, yet we know very little about where they are, how extensively they support fish, bird and invertebrate marine life, and how we should prioritize their protection. Our lab pursues three research objectives:
1.What are key processes that maintain biodiversity in seagrass ecosystems?
2. How do seagrass ecosystems support birds, fish and invertebrates important to British Columbia ecosystems?
3.How should we prioritize meadows for conservation or compensation, given their landscape context and animal movement?
1. In participation in the Zostera Experimental Network (ZEN), we have conducted two nutrient addition/grazer exclusion experiments to determine the relative importance of consumers and resource supply in the seagrass food web. [2011, 2012, 2014, 2015]
2. Predation, Not Eutrophication, controls grazer diversity in seagrass meadows. Sarah Amundrud experimentally excluded predators and augmented nutrients to determine what controls grazer community structure. 
3. Cascading effects of Great Blue Heron predation on the benthic community in eelgrass meadows. Andrew Huang is investigating heron foraging behavior and the effect of excluding herons from eelgrass meadows on benthic fish and invertebrate assemblages. [2011, 2012]
4. Quantifying scales of diversity in seagrass meadows. Ross Whippo is sampling seagrass-dwelling invertebrates to quantify patterns of alpha- and beta- diversity near Bamfield Marine Science Centre, and testing the effects of abiotic gradients in structuring these assemblages. [2012-2013]
5. Impacts of mesograzers on seagrass epiphyte assemblages. Carolyn Prentice is surveying seagrass epiphyte diversity and palatability to mesograzers in meadows near Bamfield Marine Science Centre. 
6. What the heck is this limpet doing here? Coreen Forbes (building on work started by Patricia Sun in 2011) is investigating the function and identity of the limpet commonly found on eelgrass blades near Vancouver. [2011 - 2012]
7. Comparing invertebrate assemblages in native eelgrass (Z. marina) and invasive eelgrass [Z. japonica] patches. Carolyn Prentice .
Map of 2015 seagrass sampling sites