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Barbara Spiecker

I am broadly interested in the intersection of mathematical and experimental ecology, using the rocky intertidal system to explore spatiotemporal interaction network dynamics in the context of synergistic climate change scenarios. As novel climatic conditions emerge in the next 100 years, ecological communities may be altered in ways that have no modern equivalent, termed "no-analog communities". Marine communities face predicted changes in ocean chemistry (ocean acidification) and physical processes (increased storm activity and associated wave heights, sea level rise) due to climate change. Using experimental ecology and mathematical modeling, my research will contribute to the interdisciplinary understanding of the complex interaction networks of multiple climate change factors on communities. I am interested in the emergence of many different possible "no-analog communities" under a range of climate change scenarios, including sea level rise, ocean acidification and increasing storm intensity. Using long-term observations, experimental manipulations and mathematical and statistical modeling, I intend to explore the synergistic consequences of changing climate on the structure and function of macroalgal communities along the Oregon and California coasts.