Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi: Marine Biology Program
COASTAL ECOLOGY & GENETICS LAB
Estuaries and barrier islands are beautiful, dynamic, and complex ecosystems. Understanding the driving forces and interplay among species is a fundamental goal of our lab. We use a combination of experimental and observational approaches. We apply advanced multivariate statistical analyses such as Structural Equation Modeling to explore hypotheses. Learn more about our research and areas of study below.
We are broadly interested in assessing plant and animal populations and assemblages in intertidal and shallow subtidal systems and the effects of changing climate on these systems. Projects are primarily in Texas and Florida, and we have close ties with mangrove researchers in China. Genetic evaluations of mangrove connectivity and diversity has spanned the Caribbean and links also to west Africa. Some example programs are illustrated below. PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS, please consider the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Marine Biology MS or PhD programs; or the Biology MS program; or the Fisheries & Mariculture MS program.
Oyster Ecology & Restoration
Mangrove - Oyster Foundation Species
Marsh-Mangrove Diversity Greenhouse Experiment
Hermit Crab, Gastropod, and Oyster Interactions
Want to learn more about our research projects?
The research Dream Team: studying red mangrove northern limits in the St. Augustine, FL area
Dr. Ed Proffitt
Dr. Donna Devlin
Dr. Carolyn Weaver
Masters Student (graduated summer 2018)
Check out the MARB program for application details
MS and PhD degree programs
RECENT PUBLICATIONS (* STUDENT OR FORMER STUDENT)
NOXIOUS CYANOBACTERIA & SEAGRASS INTERACTIONS
Tiling, K.A.* and C.E. Proffitt. 2017. Effects of Lyngbya majuscula blooms on the seagrass Halodule wrightii and resident invertebrates. Harmful Algae. 62:104-112.
GENETIC CONNECTIVITY AND DIVERSITY OF RED MANGROVE POPULATIONS
Kennedy, J.P*., M. Pil, C.E. Proffitt, W. A. Boeger, A. M. Stanford and D. J. Devlin. 2016. Postglacial expansion of the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle L., in the Caribbean Sea and Florida. American Journal of Botany. http: //www.amjbot.org/cgi/doi/10.3732/ajb.1500183 (on-line advance publication)
HURRICANE DAMAGE IN MANGROVES MAGNIFIED BY NUTRIENT ENRICHMENT
Feller, I.C., E.M. Dangremond, D.J. Devlin, C.E. Lovelock, C.E. Proffitt, and W. Rodriguez. 2015. Nutrient enrichment intensifies hurricane damage and prolongs recovery in mangrove ecosystems in the Indian River Lagoon. Ecology 96: 2960-2972.
GENOTYPE & GENOTYPE X ENVIRONMENT INTERACTIONS
Travis, S.E. and C.E. Proffitt. 2016. Genotypic interactions limit growth and stimulate flowering in a salt marsh foundation plant species. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 18:33-44.
Mozdzer, T., J. Caplan, R. Hager, C.E. Proffitt, and L. Myerson. Accepted 6/13/2016, in press. Contrasting trait responses to latitudinal climate variation in two lineages of an invasive grass. Biological Invasions. DOI 10.1007/s10530-106-1218-y
Proffitt, C.E. and S.E. Travis. 2010. Red Mangrove Seedling Survival, Growth, and Reproduction: Effects of Environment and Maternal Genotype. Estuaries and Coasts. 33(4):890-901.
Salewski, E.* and C.E. Proffitt. 2016. Separate and Combined Effects of Estuarine Stress Gradients and Disturbance on Oyster Population Development on Restored Reefs. Estuaries and Coasts 39: 510-528.
Aqunio-Thomas, J.* and C.E. Proffitt. 2014. Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) on Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) Prop Roots: Interactions among Foundation Species. Marine Ecology Progress Series 503: 177-194.
SOFT BOTTOM BENTHOS: MYTH OF INDICATOR SPRECIES
Zettler, M.L., C.E. Proffitt, P. Magni, G.V. Hoey, M. Frazier, A. Darr, H. Reiss, S. Degraer, G. Martin, D. Tagliapietra, T. Ysebaert, C. Greathead. 2013. On the myths of indicator species. PLoS ONE 8(10): e78219. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078219. (An Benthic Ecology Working Group of ICES publication)
SALT MARSH - MANGROVE REGIME SHIFTS
Guo, H., C. Weaver, S.Charles, A. Whitt, S. Dastidar, P. D'Odorico, J.D. Fuentes, J.S. Kominoski, A.R. Armitage, and S.C. Pennings. 2016. Coastal regime shifts: Rapid responses of coastal wetlands to changes in mangrove cover. Ecology (in press)
MANGROVE COLD TOLERANCE AND COLONIZATION WITH GLOBAL WARMING
Coldren, G.A.* and C.E. Proffitt. 2017. Mangrove seedling freeze tolerance depends on salt marsh presence, species, salinity, and age. Hydrobiologia. 803:159-171. DOI 10.1007/s10750-017-3175-6.
LARGE SPATIAL AND LONG TEMPORAL SCALE ANALYSES USING STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELING
Proffitt C.E. 2017 . Phytoplankton biomass in a Subtropical Estuary: Drivers, blooms, and ecological functions assessed over space and time using Structural Equation Modeling. Marine Ecology Progress Series.
SOIL CARBON: MANGROVES IN CHINA
Xiong, YanMei, B. Liao, E. Proffitt, W. Guan, X. Liu and Y. Sun. 2018. Patterns of soil carbon in mangroves are primarily controlled by soil properties: a landscape-scale study. Science of the Total Environment. 619-620:1226-1235. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.187.