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Blakeslee, April Assistant Professor

Positions

Conservation Biology, Invasion Biology, Parasite Ecology, Marine Ecology

research overview

  • As a researcher interested in conservation biology in marine systems, I have developed a diverse research program involving biodiversity, population genetics, parasite ecology, and biogeography—as well as the unique and integrative insight that can be gained from studying biological invasions. Recently, biological invasions have become recognized as a major contributor to the global (and often disjunct) distributions of many marine species as a result of their movement and establishment via human transport mechanisms. Invasion research is therefore important not only from a conservation perspective but can provide theoretical and practical understanding of population and community level influences of novel species, and can also serve as an important teaching tool for students and the general public. Marine invasions are a major part of human-induced global change, including population, community, and ecosystem-level shifts in marine biota, genetics, and the environment. I have examined many integrative aspects of marine invasions, focusing in four major areas: global distribution patterns (biogeography and phylogeography) and demography of free-living and parasite species, population genetics and population ecology in native and non-native populations, species interactions and community ecology among native and non-native organisms, andparasite ecology in native and non-native populations (including impacts on behavior and physiology). I employ marine invertebrates as model organisms as they have contributed vast numbers of introductions globally, and they also serve as hosts to marine parasites, which are a fundamental but often overlooked component of many marine systems, and which can become cryptic invaders themselves.    

    Conservation Biology, Invasion Biology, Parasite Ecology, Marine Ecology