Helmuth Lab

Jessica Torossian

Ph.D Candidate

    2007 B.F.A. New York University                
    2013 B.S. University of Massachusetts Boston            

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My research interests involve understanding and predicting how ecosystems will respond to climate change. Climate-mediated changes in physiological performance, species interactions, and recruitment are likely to alter both community structure and ecosystem services provided. According to metacommunity theory, these localized effects can become regionalized if multiple communities are linked through dispersal. Sublethal processes that affect life-history strategies such as growth rates and reproduction have the potential to drive not only population dynamics, but metacommunity dynamics as well.

I am interested in how climate change may affect both predator-prey dynamics and reproduction through changes in physiology, and how these local-scale responses translate into metacommunity-level effects. Using interacting species with different life-history traits and dispersal strategies I hope to investigate how thermal stress and food availability impact reproduction and ultimately population dynamics. The goal of my research is to use these data in a metacommunity-based model to predict how populations and communities will respond to climate change. An improved understanding of how interconnected communities interact may have important implications for both conservation and restoration efforts.


    Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship: Northeastern University
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