Studying Global Change in the Oceans

What we do:

Research in the Rotjan lab focuses on global change in the oceans. The main goal is to examine how marine species, communities, and ecosystems respond to the complex multitude of stressors emerging in the contemporary world ocean, and how they will respond to the future ocean change that we expect in the coming decades. In other words, we take a systems ecology approach to examining global change. We are also big fans of ocean exploration, which is critical and necessary to set baselines to calibrate global change. We are a part of a growing global movement to democratize the oceans, making marine science and exploration accessible and available to all.

We apply our science and exploration to conservation. Our simple credo is to help make the world a better place. 

Our lab is interested in two complementary dimensions of Ocean Global Change: (1) biological response to changing ocean dynamics, and (2) opportunities for human-mediated action via conservation, restoration, and/or management. 

We are focused mainly on corals in three main geographic regions across the world. We use these regions as natural laboratories and models to explore global change in coastal vs remote, and urban vs wild regions:

  1. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area, Republic of Kiribati
  2. The Belizean Barrier Reef and Atolls
  3. U.S. East Coast / Western Atlantic