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The overarching goal of my current research is to understand the relative influence of various factors on marine population connectivity. Population connectivity, particularly in open systems, is an important metric for understanding population-level processes on both ecological and evolutionary timescales. Connectivity has been shown to influence factors including species persistence, species coexistence, the spread of invasive species, and the degree and rate of local adaptation. In coastal marine systems, adults are typically sedentary and dispersal occurs primarily during a larval stage of protracted duration. Thus, in coastal systems, connectivity is influenced heavily by three elements: adult population input into the larval pool, larval transport during development, and larval mortality during development. My dissertation identifies variation in connectivity associated with variation in these controlling factors, and tests the hypothesis: are the effects of these factors additive, or do non-linear interactions effectively uncouple the influence of these factors on connectivity?
Benthic Ecology Annual Meeting, 2012: Variation in larval connectivity determines patterns of larval settlement and adult density in mussel populations, Rhiannon L Rognstad, David S Wethey, and Thomas J Hilbish.
Benthic Ecology Annual Meeting, 2012: The effects of the winter of 2009-2012 on the distribution of the marine mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis and M. edulis in the United Kingdom. Drew DeLorenzo*, Rhiannon L Rognstad, and Thomas J Hilbish.
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, 2012: Intertidal population connectivity: limitations of climate and larval supply, Rhiannon L Rognstad, David S Wethey, and Thomas J Hilbish.
5th International Zooplankton Production Symposium, Pucon, Chile, 2011: Intertidal population connectivity: The role of larval supply, Rhiannon L Rognstad, David S Wethey, and Thomas J Hilbish.
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, 2010: Genetic recombination in Mytilus as evidence of past species distributions, Rhiannon L Rognstad and Thomas J Hilbish.
Benthic Ecology Annual Meeting, 2009: Genetic recombination in Mytilus in European hybrid zones, Rhiannon L Rognstad and Thomas J Hilbish.
North American Benthological Society Annual Meeting, 2005: Effect of riparian impervious cover on leaf litter decomposition rate and lotic macrobenthic diversity, Seth R Reice and Rhiannon L Rognstad.
* Indicates undergraduate coauthor