My master's research concerned the effects of fire periodicity in facilitating bat use of the endangered (and beautiful) longleaf pine - wiregrass ecosystem. I found that high-frequency prescribed fire allowed large-bodied, fast-flying bats to forage beneath the canopy due to the reduction of physical clutter in these habitats. I also tested and developed software for the automated processing and classification of bat echolocation calls recorded on ultrasonic detectors.
Surveys of microbial diversity often encounter thousands of species coexisting within a sample. One reason for this astounding diversity may be due to the fact that what researchers often consider a single habitat is likely partitioned by niche specialists at the micron-scale. By combining metagenomic and marker gene approaches, I documented marked spatial and temporal turnover of bacteria in a salt marsh microbial mat. Such mats have great value as teaching and research tools in microbial ecology.