Coastal and Marine Ecology Lab

Department of Environmental Sciences

University of Virginia

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Welcome to the Marine Ecology Lab at the University of Virginia. We conduct experimental and applied research on marine plants (algae and seagrasses) in both temperate and tropical coastal ecosystems. Our work involves field and laboratory investigations, and examines the direct linkage between plant ecophysiology and processes at the community and ecosystem level.

Current research in the lab focuses on the following areas: controls on the fate and retention of nutrient inputs to shallow coastal bays and lagoons, feedbacks of plant metabolism on nutrient dynamics in shallow coastal waters, biogeochemical controls of nutrient availability and nutrient limitation (N and P) of marine plants, interactions of grazers and nutrient cycling in seagrass communities, disturbance and recovery of species-rich seagrass systems, sediment resuspension and nutrient cycling in coastal lagoons, and phosphorus cycling in seagrass-vegetated carbonate sediments. The application of much of this work concerns the impacts of external stressors, such as changes in global climate and watershed land use, on biotic structure and ecosystem processes in shallow coastal regions.


Dr. McGlathery’s Research Lab

Marine Ecology



Ecological Restoration

Disturbance and Recovery

Consumer Control

Seagrass and Algae