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Hi there!

I'm Serina Wittyngham, a postdoctoral researcher at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, William & Mary. My research asks questions about how environmental changes and human impacts affect ecosystems and shape their resilience over time. I address these big questions by first focusing on something small - the plant functional traits (chemical, morphological, and physical characteristics; 'PFTs') of plant foundation species. Plants often form entire ecosystems, thus understanding the mechanisms governing their performance provides key insight into larger ecosystem functioning. Through the lens of PFTs, I ask questions under three themes:

1) How do biotic (e.g., herbivores) and abiotic factors (e.g., salinity, temperature, flooding) influence PFTs? 

2) How do changes in PFTs influence ecosystem resilience to climate change and anthropogenic disturbance?

3) How can PFTs be used to assess invasive species management and enhance restoration success?

 

In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, hiking, baking, and exploring local breweries with my partner and our dog, Duke. 

Hi there!

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