Robert Carpenter

Robert Carpenter
California State University Northridge

My research interests are focused on the ecology of marine benthic communities. Specifically, I am interested in the coupling between physical aspects of the environment (primarily light and water flow) and the physiology of algae, and in interactions between herbivores and algae, and how these processes cascade upward to the community level. This is part of a larger comparison between coral reef and kelp forest communities. A major research thrust in my lab is associated with the NSF LTER coral reef site in Moorea. As one of 4 PIs on this project, I am involved in quantifying long-term changes in coral reef community structure and function. Additionally, we are interested in how coral reef metabolism is driven by both large- and small-scale hydrodynamic processes and how this also might influence distributions and abundances of reef organisms and trophic dynamics. While my interests are focused on algal-dominated communities, several students in my laboratory have conducted research on benthic invertebrates living in intertidal, kelp forest, and coral reef environments.