About Me

aboutJon Lefcheck

I’m a post-doctoral researcher studying marine ecology at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, ME. I was formerly a post-doctoral researcher at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, The College of William & Mary in Gloucester Point, VA.

My interests span from community ecology, with a focus on seagrasses, to biodiversity science to ecological statistics.

My research is focused on understanding the causes and consequences of biological diversity, particularly with respect to human well-being. I’m particularly interested in new ways to think about biological variation, including organismal functional traits and evolutionary history.

My current work involves understanding the drivers of community structure and function in kelp forests and coral reefs, as well as using experiments to progress our understanding of functional trait diversity and ecosystem functioning in multitrophic communities. My prior post-doctoral work involved understanding the patterns and drivers of submerged aquatic vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay over the past 30 years.

At the moment, I’m:

  • Using in situ video assays to understand how species diversity among closely-related species may affect the ecosystem process of herbivory on Caribbean coral reefs;
  • Using aerial survey data and long-term water quality monitoring to understand trends and drivers of submersed aquatic vegetation in Chesapeake Bay over the past 30 years;
  • Deploying a novel assay, the Squidpop, to characterize patterns in marine predation through space and time and across habitats, including artificial structure associated with aquaculture;
  • Exploring how restoration of eelgrass habitat in the Delmarva coastal bays of the mid-Atlantic have facilitated the return of associated animals, including the commercially important bay scallop:

  • Clarifying global biogeographic patterns, drivers of productivity, and mechanisms of community assembly in reef fishes using data from the Reef Life Survey network;
  • Describing large-scale trends in marine predation pressure in seagrass beds as part of the Ocean Bitemap network;
  • Understanding how different management actions influence the integrated suite of ecosystem functions that underpin healthy ecosystems;
  • Synthesizing the literature to understand how coastal habitats may function as nurseries for ecologically and commercially important fishes and invertebrates;
  • Progressing the theory and application of structural equation modeling (SEM) to ecological research.

You can read more about my various projects here.

I started this blog, sample(ECOLOGY), to share mesocosm_exptsome of the thoughts, explorations, and R code that I stash away on a daily basis. Hopefully someone out there will find some use for it as well.

Follow me on Twitter!

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