Florida Museum of Natural History

Jada-Simone S. White,
PhD Candidate

Jada White

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Ph.D. Research

The dusky farmerfish, Stegastes nigricans, directly alters the coral reef community by farming algal turf and exerting resource control through territorial defense. These behaviors indirectly affect other species by changing their interactions with two guilds of community members: 1) increased interactions with farmed algal turf; and 2) decreased interactions with mobile grazers and predators due to reduced reef access. I seek to understand the relative impact of these processes on the community structure. My research explores how this habitat modifying species affects the strength of a given interaction (e.g., competition, predation, or facilitation) between other community members by combining demographic monitoring, experimental manipulations, and population modeling. Ultimately, I wish to test the extent to which differences in these relationships account for the observed variation in the abundance or distribution of organisms.


Stegastes nigricans