People Directory : Kirstin Meyer
WHOI Mailing Address:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Rd.
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1050
Ph.D., Biology, University of Oregon, 2016
B.S., Zoology, Northern Michigan University, 2011
Benthic ecology, community ecology, Arctic biology, invertebrate zoology, larval biology, connectivity, succession
I am interested in how invertebrate communities assemble on hard-bottom habitats, especially when those habitats are isolated or island-like. Isolated hard-bottom habitats can be natural (stones, nodules, biogenic surfaces) or anthropogenic (shipwrecks, lost shipping containers, litter) and function as "islands in a sea of mud." I seek to understand how larvae disperse to and settle on isolated substrata, how organisms on the same substratum interact with each other through competition and facilitation, and how hard-bottom communities undergo succession and develop over time. Currently, I am investigating the mechanisms of succession in subtidal fouling communities. I hypothesize that early colonists alter the habitat to facilitate recruitment of other, mid-succession taxa, and I am using a combination of field and lab experiments to test this hypothesis. In another project, I am examining larval transport and recruitment in the Arctic. I hypothesize that oceanographic currents carry larvae north to new habitats, where they may become established as the Arctic warms. My research helps us understand the impact of human activities on the seafloor, including climate change and the deposition of new substrata such as artificial reefs.