(A) Bolivina lowmani: grown from propagules collected at 120-m site south of Cape Cod (B) Rosalina cf. R. floridana: grown from propagules collected at 750-m site south of Cape Cod (C) Allogromia “laticollaris”: grown from propagules collected at 120-m site south of Cape Cod (D) Rosalina cf. R. floridana: grown from propagules collected at 2200-m site south of Cape Cod (Images courtesy of Susan Goldstein, University of Georgia)
Effective dispersal and connectivity underlie the health and stability of marine populations and communities. A comprehensive understanding of dispersal and connectivity in marine systems is required in order to inform decisions regarding management and conservation. It is also important to understand how migration and geographic range influence the processes of macroevolution and extinction. In collaboration with S. Goldstein (U. Ga) and J. Bernhard (WHOI), our group is examining benthic foraminifera populations in sediments collected along the East Coast of the US at various depths and locations. Using molecular and cultivation, and microscopy approaches, we aim to understand how dispersal and connectivity in benthic foraminifera compares to that of other marine micro-and macro-organisms, and the extent to which different foraminiferal species differ in their dispersal capabilities.