Dr. Sophie McCoy
Assistant Professor in the Biology Department
Ph.D. Ecology and Evolution, The University of Chicago, 2014
Research and Professional Interests
Research in the lab draws relationships between processes that occur at small scales to macro-scale patterns. In the context of changing climate, I focus on links between physiological response and the dynamics of populations and communities. I am especially interested in effects of environmental stress on traits that mediate species interactions and scale up to community-level processes.
Recent and current work in the lab focuses on marine macrophytes. Coastal communities dominated by macrophytes provide a useful model system in which many stressors co-occur. Macrophytes are important components of coastal ecosystems and also play a major role in coastal carbon cycling. In many ways, the fates of coastal marine communities are tied to the responses of macrophytes to environmental stressors and ongoing changes. I am interested in observing and better understanding how changing ocean conditions differentially affect interacting seaweed or grazer species, and identifying repercussions on community assembly and function.
My general interest lies in connecting environmental conditions with organism physiology and ecological processes. This work typically involves field experiments, laboratory experiments, and laboratory analysis of seawater chemistry or other local environmental conditions. Interested graduate students and postdocs are encouraged to develop new techniques or study systems across a range of taxa or environments, including marine, aquatic, or terrestrial systems.