Kristen Kusic Heady
Current Position: Lecturer-University of California, Santa Cruz
Education: Phd University of California, Santa Cruz (2012)
Intertidal sites between Punta Eugenia, Mexico (26.71°N) and Glacier Bay, Alaska (48.85°N) do not show a latitudinal trend in diversity, although there is variation in diversity among sites. I hypothesize that this variation is do to the geomorphology of the reef, which sets the stage for biotic interactions. Taking a landscape ecology approach, my dissertation will focus on how geomorphology affects species distribution and in turn diversity at three distinct scales: within sites, among sites and among groups of sites with similar species composition. By combining extraordinary precision at the local scale across an expansive spatial scale, I will examine how variation in diversity patterns is explained by the geomorphology of the intertidal reef.