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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences

Faculty & Staff Directory

David Wethey

Department of Biology
University of South Carolina

Office: EWS 704
Phone Number: 803-777-3936
Website: Wethey Lab Ecological Forecasting Page

Dr. Wethey's research interests include biogeography, population dynamics, predator-prey and competitive interactions, conservation genetics, and the mechanisms by which organisms escape the physics of their habitats. He uses a combination of field and laboratory experiments and modeling to examine these processes. His work on population dynamics involves the application of difference and differential equation models to age structured populations, including barnacles, annelids, copepods, and fish. His work on animal behavior has used non-invasive field and laboratory methods including medical ultrasound and low frequency pressure transients to detect activities of animals living within sediments. His work on biogeography has used field experiments and biophysical modeling to determine the mechanisms responsible for setting geographic limits of species. His field studies are currently being carried out on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America, the Pacific coast of Asia, and the Atlantic coast of Europe.

His current projects include

1. field, remote sensing, modeling and forecasting studies of the mechanisms responsible for setting the geographic limits of intertidal barnacles, mussels, and infauna, with Drs. Jerry Hilbish, Brian Helmuth, Sarah Woodin, and Venkat Lakshmi (Funding: NASA, NSF),

2. field and laboratory studies of the subsurface activities of infaunal worms and clams, and their effects on porewater geochemistry, nutrient cycling, and bacterial populations with Drs Sarah Woodin (USC), Rick Lovell (USC), Lubos Polerecky (Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany), Nils Volkenborn, and George Matsui (Funding: NSF)

Selected Publications: 

Burnett, NP, R Seabra, M de Pirro, DS Wethey, SA Woodin, B Helmuth, ML Zippay, G Sara, C Monaco, FP Lima. 2013. An improved noninvasive method for measuring heartbeat of intertidal animals. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods. 11: 91-100. PDF

Volkenborn, N, C Meile, L Polerecky, CA Pilditch, A Norkko, J Norkko, JE Hewitt, SF Thrush, DS Wethey, SA Woodin. 2012. Intermittent bioirrigation and oxygen dynamics in permeable sediments: An experimental and modeling study of three tellinid bivalves . Journal of Marine Research. 70: 794-823. PDF

Lima, FP, DS Wethey. 2012. Three decades of high-resolution coastal sea surface temperatures reveal more than warming. Nature Communications. 3:704. PDF

Woodin, SA, DS Wethey, JE Hewitt, SF Thrush. 2012. Small scale terrestrial clay deposits on intertidal sandflats: behavioral changes and productivity reduction. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 413:184-191. PDF

Jones, SJ, AJ Southward, DS Wethey. 2012. Climate change and historical biogeography of the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 21:716-724. PDF

Hilbish, TJ, FP Lima, PM Brannock, EK Fly, RL Rognstad, DS Wethey. 2012. Change and stasis in marine hybrid zones in response to climate warming. Journal of Biogeography. 39:676-687. PDF

Volkenborn, N, L Polerecky, DS Wethey, TH DeWitt, SA Woodin. 2012. Hydraulic activity of the ghost shrimp Neotrypaea californiensis induces oxic–anoxic oscillations around its burrows. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 455:141-156. PDF

Sousa LL, R Seabra, DS Wethey, R Xavier, N Queiroz, S Zenboudji, FP Lima. 2012. Fate of a climate-driven colonisation: Demography of newly established populations of the limpet Patella rustica Linnaeus, 1758, in northern Portugal. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 438:68-75. PDF

Wethey, DS, SA Woodin, TJ Hilbish, SJ Jones, FP Lima, PM Brannock. 2011. Response of intertidal populations to climate: effects of extreme events versus long term change. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 400:132-144. PDF

Wethey, DS, LD Brin, B Helmuth, KAS Mislan. 2011. Predicting intertidal organism temperatures with modified land surface models. Ecological Modelling. 222:3568-3576. PDF

Mislan, KAS, DS Wethey. 2011. Gridded meteorological data as resource for mechanistic ecology in coastal environments. Ecological Applications. 21:2678-2690. PDF

Volkenborn, N, L Polerecky, DS Wethey, SA Woodin. 2010. Oscillatory porewater bioadvection in marine sediments induced by hydraulic activities of Arenicola marina. Limnology and Oceanography. 55:1231-1247. PDF

Wethey, DS, SA Woodin. 2008. Ecological hindcasting of biogeographic responses to climate change in the European intertidal zone. Hydrobiologia. 606:139-151. PDF