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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
Email: wethey@biol.sc.edu
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 effects of climate change and extreme events (low salinity and heat waves) on commercial clam populations in Spain, with Drs. Sarah Woodin, and Drs. Elsa Vazquez, Celia Olabarria at the University of Vigo (Funding NASA, Spanish Ministry of Economics and Competitiveness)

Selected Publications: 

Crickenberger S, DS Wethey. 2017.  Reproductive physiology, temperature, and biogeography: the role of fertilization in determining the distribution of the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom doi:10.1017/S0025315417000364

Macho G, SA Woodin, DS Wethey, E Vázquez. 2016. Impacts of sublethal and lethal high temperatures on clams exploited in European fisheries.  Journal of Shellfish Research 35:405-419.

Wethey, DS, SA Woodin, SK Berke, SF Dubois. 2016. Climate hindcasts: exploring the disjunct distribution of Diopatra biscayensis. Invertebrate Biology 135:345-356

Woodin, S, N Volkenborn, CA Pilditch, AM Lohrer, DS Wethey, J Hewitt, SF Thrush. 2016. Same pattern, different mechanism: locking onto the role of key species in ecosystem process. Nature Scientific Reports 6:26678.

Lima, FP, F Gomes, R Seabra, DS Wethey, MI Seabra, T Cruz, AM Santos, TJ Hilbish. 2016. Loss of thermal refugia near equatorial range limits.  Global Change Biology 22: 254-26373.

Mislan, KAS, DS Wethey. 2015. A biophysical basis for patchy mortality in heat waves.  Ecology 96:902-907

Oliver, H, RL Rognstad, DS Wethey. 2015. Using meteorological reanalysis data for multi-decadal hindcasts of larval connectivity in the coastal ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series 530:47-62.

Fly, EK, TJ Hilbish, DS Wethey, RL Rognstad.  2015. Physiology and biogeography: The response of European mussels (Mytilus spp.) to climate change. American Malacological Bulletin 33:136-149.

Woodin, SA, DS Wethey, SF Dubois. 2014. Population structure and spread of the polychaete Diopatra biscayensis along the French Atlantic coast: human-assisted transport by-passes larval dispersal.  Marine Environmental Research 102:110-121

Rognstad, RL, DS Wethey, TJ Hilbish. 2014. Connectivity and population repatriation: limitations of climate and input into the larval pool.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 495: 175-183.

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

Woodin, SA, TJ Hilbish, B Helmuth, SJ Jones, DS Wethey. 2013.  Climate change, species distribution models and performance metrics: predicting when biogeographic models are likely to fail.  Ecology and Evolution 3: 3334-3346.  

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