Second-year PhD student Randi Bowman has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to fund her research on the effects of stressors on trait diversity in coral reef ecosystems. Coral reefs are declining worldwide, but it remains unknown how these declines are affecting and are affected by functional diversity, a measure of biodiversity concerned with the traits of organisms that influence one or more aspects of ecosystem functioning. Randi aims to merge long-term monitoring data, laboratory experiments, and modeling to improve our understanding of the importance of trait variation on resilience in coral reef ecosystems.
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