Dr. Derek Burkholder

Derek graduated in 2012 after studying the dynamics of the Shark Bay seagrass ecosystem.  Derek’s work examined the ecological role of green turtles (Chelonia mydas), the community and nutrient dynamics of seagrasses across multiple spatial and temporal scales, and the possibility that tiger sharks initiate a behavior-mediated trophic cascade that is mediated by predation-sensitive shifts by turtles and dugongs. He found that risk-sensitive foraging by large grazers results in considerably different seagrass communities between safer and more dangerous habitats and that tiger sharks likely trigger behavior-mediated trophic cascades.

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