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Elizabeth Cerny-Chipman

I am interested in how predator-prey interactions are shaped by environmental conditions, and how species interactions may help us translate the effects of climate change and ocean acidification on individual organisms to the community level. I am also interested in the role subordinate predators have on community structure and functioning, particularly in the absence of the top predator. In the rocky intertidal ecosystem along the coast of Oregon, I study whelk predators that feed on mussel and barnacle prey. In my research I have studied spatial and temporal variability in the strength of the interaction between whelks and mussels and how environmental conditions might alter prey choice. Using the Menge lab's ocean acidification mesocosm, I am looking at how feeding rates and handling times of whelk predators differ with pH. I have also been studying sea star wasting disease with the lab since it first appeared in Oregon in 2014. We are testing the effects of whelks on prey community trajectory following the disease and monitoring whelk population responses (abundance, size distributions and spatial distributions). My website can be found here