Rob Nowicki

My research interests are focused at the interface of disturbance ecology, predator ecology, functional ecology, and community ecology. For my PhD I have used a widespread seagrass die-off in the world’s largest seagrass ecosystem (Shark Bay, Western Australia) to answer general ecological questions about the effects of resource loss on seagrass associated communities from multiple angles and at multiple scales. This includes determining how seagrass loss influences fauna abundance, community composition, trophic relationships, habitat use patterns, and predation risk effects within the bay’s community- from herbivorous fish to tiger sharks. I am also interested in ecological resilience in seagrass ecosystems and what modifies it- particularly in the face of climate change. I have used the Shark Bay die-off to investigate the recovery of Shark Bay’s seagrass ecosystem since 2012 with the goal of predicting likely recovery trajectories of the seagrass assemblage. I have also used this die-off as a “natural experiment” to conduct a manipulative field study examining the role of tiger sharks in facilitating ecosystem recovery. In addition to my two main research areas, I also engage in research on stable isotope analysis of elasmobranchs. Outside of research, I have a love for engaging with the public and in mentoring students at various stages of their scientific careers. Contact: robert.nowicki@fiu.edu

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