Research themes

The Castorani Lab studies the population and community ecology of coastal marine ecosystems. We investigate ecological problems across a broad range of scales, from local species interactions to geographic range limits. Our work focuses on nearshore biogenic habitats such as kelp forests, seagrass meadows, and oyster reefs. These efforts aim to advance fundamental understanding in ecology and inform the conservation, restoration, and management of coastal habitats and their associated wildlife. 

Motivated by basic and applied challenges, our research brings together experiments in the field and laboratory, remote sensing using drones and satellites, and the application of quantitative tools to long-term, large-scale observational data. Our work has benefitted from interdisciplinary collaboration in biogeochemistry, population genetics, geomorphology, mathematics, and physical oceanography. Many of our studies contribute to the U.S. Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network through the Virginia Coast Reserve LTER, Santa Barbara Coastal LTER, and cross-site synthesis activities.

Learn more about the major cross-cutting themes of our work by following the links below.

Disturbance and resilience

What are the causes and consequences of habitat loss and recovery?

Maintaining biodiversity

How do environmental and ecological processes structure biodiversity?

Spatial ecology

How do populations and communities interact across space?