Manuscript accepted for publication in Marine Ecology Progress Series on the nature of top-down control in Georgian salt marshes

November 2020: In our new note, we look at how the density of the marsh periwinkle snail (Littoraria irrorata) affects snail grazing impacts on salt marsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora). We found that increasing densities of snails exponentially increased the grazing intensity per stem, but linearly decreased Spartina biomass (photo of L. irrorata below, PC: Brian Silliman).

New paper out in Scientific Reports on how protected areas may influence corallivores and their potential predators

October 2020: In our recently published paper, we show how protected coral reefs in Florida have fewer corallivorous snails (Coralliophila abbreviata), which we propose may be because of increased predator diversity inside protected areas.

Review on positive interactions in oyster reef ecosystems accepted for publication in Frontiers in Marine Science

July 25, 2020: In a review led by The Nature Conservancy's Simon Reeves, we examine oyster reef research and identify potential positive interactions on reefs that may be useful for reef restoration. Read the whole article here

Master's thesis defended!

July 25, 2020: I orally defended my Master's research at Duke and submitted the written thesis on how a Xanthid crab, simulated wounding, and algal contact can influence disease occurrence in branching corals on the Great Barrier Reef! More details on what we found coming soon.

Scoping review on Living Shorelines published in Frontiers in Marine Science

July 15, 2020: In a review led by Silliman lab postdoc Carter Smith, we look at what research has been done on living shorelines and the current state of living shoreline research.

Forum published in Trends in Microbiology on the coral meta-organism

July 1, 2020: In collaboration with the Ainsworth lab at UNSW and the Silliman lab at Duke University, we talk about about how "interstitial associates" (i.e. organisms that spend most or all of their lives on/within corals) influence the coral holobiont in our new paper out in Trends in Microbiology.

NSF-INTERN grant awarded to spend the summer working at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History

June 15, 2020: NSF-INTERN grant awarded to spend the summer researching invertebrate biodiversity on North Carolinian oyster reefs in addition to biodiversity changes through time in Mo'orea French Polynesia using metabarcoding data from Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures deployed in conjunction with the Global ARMS project.

Salt marshes protect shorelines: new paper out in Current Biology

June 15, 2019: Through a combination of field experiments and meta-analyses, we show that salt marshes do reduce shoreline erosion and remain an important component of coastal protection in our recent paper, led by Brian Silliman

First paper in collaboration with the Silliman lab published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution

April 15, 2019: In my first paper as a part of the Silliman Lab, we look at how positive species interactions can be leveraged to enhance salt marsh and mangrove restoration.

Undergraduate thesis published in the American Journal of Botany

February 15, 2019: In collaboration with Kathy Gerst of the USA-National Phenology Network and local expert Bill Peachey, the work from my undergraduate thesis is out in print! You can read about how the flowering of a keystone desert species, the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), may be influenced by climate here.

Study site photo credit: Bill Peachey

$30,000 Bass Connections grant awarded to study whether sound can be used as a proxy for oyster reef biodiversity

December 15, 2018: Our proposal was funded to assemble a team of undergraduate students, master's students, PhD students, postdocs, and faculty to study whether we can use bioacoustic metrics to estimate oyster reef diversity. Learn more on our website:

Undergraduate research on a common Mo'orean algal species published in the Marine Environmental Research

October 15, 2018: The work from my undergraduate summer research was just published in Marine Environmental Research! In the paper, led by Cat Fong, we examine how epiphytes on a common macroalgal species, Turbinaria ornata, provide food for young fish in Mo'orea, French Polynesia.

NSF-Graduate Research Fellowship awarded for three years of graduate study

April 15, 2018: Awarded a three-year NSF fellowship to study marine ecology as a part of the Silliman Lab at Duke University!

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Email: jrenzi(at)