Ecological Modeling

Samuel Scarpino

We develop mathematical models to understand how ecological and environmental processes occurring at different scales and levels of organization interact to shape the spatiotemporal distribution of marine species. We are particularly interested in using these models to devise adaptive management strategies such as reserve networks to maximize the productivity and persistence of interconnected coastal ecosystems experiencing environmental change.

We use similar mathematical techniques to study how coral genetic diversity and microbial species diversity interact to control the health of coral ecosystems in a rapidly changing marine environment. Specifically, we use models to determine the effects of: 1) coral genetic diversity on the frequency and severity of disease outbreaks; 2) microbial diversity on the ability of coral populations to cope with environmental change; and 3) microbial competition on the evolution and persistence of mutualistic interactions.

Brian Helmuth
Marine and Environmental Sciences
Sam Scarpino
Marine and Environmental Sciences