Ecology and evolution in mountain lakes
For my PhD research I focused on how temperature mediates the effect of predators on aquatic food webs. We know that many aspects of the climate are changing at unprecedented rates, and may interact with local environmental perturbations to produce surprising changes in ecosystems. Two relevant ecological stressors are temperature and the extirpation of top-predators. To examine how these stressors interact I am using a natural experiment – lakes with/without a history of fish stocking along a temperature gradient in Yosemite National Park. Through a combination of field surveys and large-scale experiments, I hope to gain an understanding of how trophic interactions will change in a warming world.
Symons, C.C. and Shurin, J.B. 2016. Climate constrains lake community and ecosystem responses to introduced predators. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283:20160825