The Layman Lab    aquatic ecology • food webs • predator-prey interactions • outreach and education
People
Craig Layman

Craig A. Layman

Associate Professor of Applied Ecology
Email: cal1634@yahoo.com

I received my B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1996 with majors in Biology, Environmental Science and Economics. I continued at UVA and received a M.S. in Environmental Science with a thesis focused on coastal fish assemblages on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I received my Ph.D. under Kirk Winemiller at Texas A&M in 2004 with a research program pertaining to food webs of a tropical floodplain river in Venezuela. I also spent two years as the Donnelley Environmental Fellow at Yale University in David Post's lab. I started at FIU in 2006 as an assistant professor. I moved to NCSU in summer of 2013, and I am currently associate professor in the Department of Applied Ecology.

(Download CV) Updated August 2014

Post-Doctoral Scholars
Jacob E. Allgeier

Jacob E. Allgeier

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Email: jeallgei@ncsu.edu

I am an ecologist with a broad interest in the movement of material and energy through ecosystems. My research integrates population, community and ecosystem ecology and, I use gradients created by anthropogenic change to test basic ecological theory in an applied context. Within this framework, I apply a broad suite of experimental, observational and quantitative techniques to test how emergent local-scale ecological patterns may transcend larger geographic scales. Personal site here.

Carmen G. Montaņa

Carmen G. Montaņa

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Email: car1607@gmail.com

My research interests are broad within the fields of community and evolutionary ecology, primarily in freshwater ecosystems. In particular, I am interested in the patterns of community organization across spatial scales (e.g., patch-local-regional-intercontinental scales), using trait-based approaches to understand community assembly processes, food web ecology, and evolutionary convergence patterns. I am currently a part of the lab's on-going research on consumer nuttrient supply in seagrass and coral reef ecosystems.

Elizabeth Stoner

Elizabeth Stoner

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Email: e_stoner@skidmore.edu

I received my B.A. in Environmental Science with a concentration in biology with honors from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY in 2008. During my time in school, I studied in South Caicos, TCI at the Marine Resources Center with the School for Field Studies, and conducted independent research on the effects of anthropogenic nutrient effluent on the diversity and abundance of mangrove organisms. For my senior thesis, I evaluated whether sub-lethal effects of copper sulfate impacted the foraging behavior and diet of bluegill sunfish in upstate New York. For my Ph.D work, I am continuing my exploration of the effects of human-mediated disturbances on ecosystems. Specifically, I am evaluating how anthropogenic nutrient loading may drive 'blooms' of the epibenthic native invader, Cassiopea jellyfish, and how these animals may affect benthic community structure and ecosystem function of seagrass habitats. My research takes place on Abaco Island, Bahamas under the direction of Dr. Craig Layman at Florida International University. Personal site here.

Ph.D. Students & Candidates
Stephanie K. Archerr

Stephanie K. Archer

Ph.D. Student
Email: skarcher@ncsu.edu

I am generally interested in the effect of sponges on nearshore community composition and ecosystem function. For my dissertation research I am developing a project to determine the role of sponges in structuring the community and ecosystem function of nearshore habitats. This project is still in development but will focus on both direct (providing structure and food for community members) and indirect pathways (alterations of nutrient cycles and accelerated nutrient recycling).

Sean T. Giery

Sean T. Giery

PhD Candidate
Email: stgiery@ncsu.edu

My dissertation research focuses on the evolutionary differentiation of sexual selection and communication systems in the wild. Specifically, I use a model system of mosquitofish populations occurring in natural and human-altered environment to investigate how anthropogenic ecological change might be driving evolutionary divergence in a visual signaling system used in courtship displays. More generally, my research aims to illustrate how human-mediated ecological change can drive adaptive and non-adaptive evolutionary responses in wild populations in order to raise awareness of the fuller range of consequences that anthropogenic change incurs. Personal site.

Stephanie Buhler

Stephanie Buhler

PhD Student
Email: sbuhler@ncsu.edu

Broadly, I am interested how consumptive and non-consumptive effects of predators change food web structure and drive overall processes in vulnerable coastal ecosystems. Coastal ecosystems such as mangrove tidal creeks and nearshore coral reef systems are heavily impacted by humans (i.e habitat destruction, overfishing, and eutrophication), thus understanding how these impacts affect valuable coastal food webs is a critical research goal. Currently, I am conducting my research in Abaco, Bahamas, investigating how the widespread decline of top predators will affect community dynamics in nearshore coastal communities.

Ryann Rossi

Ryann Rossi

PhD Student
Email: ryann.rossi@gmail.com

My research interests lie in the ecology of marine coastal ecosystems. I am most interested in the general ecology of tropical mangrove systems in the Caribbean. These systems sequester carbon, are crucial barriers to storms, and are nurseries for commercially important juvenile fish and invertebrates. I will focus on abiotic and biotic factors resulting in die-off of mangroves, in addition to other food-web interactions within mangrove systems.

Undergraduate Researchers
David Riera

David Riera

Laboratory Assistant
Email: david.riera001@mymdc.net

I received my A.A. from Miami Dade College in 2011 in Biology and while continuing at MDC I completed an A.S. in Biotechnology with certifications in Industrial engineering. For two years I was apart of an undergraduate research collaborative program in Molecular Biology and Bio-informatics at Miami Dade's Microbiology and Biotechnology Lab under Juan Morata. I started at Florida International University in the Fall of 2011 to finish my B.S. as a double major in Marine Biology and Environmental Science with a minor in Chemistry. I have assisted with numerous projects in the lab, including long-term monitoring of oyster reef fauna.

Former Lab Members
  • Zachary Jud, Ph.D.
    Graduated summer 2014.
  • Márcio S. Araújo, Post-doctoral Researcher
    Marcio is a faculty member at Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, Brazil.
  • Lauren Yeager, Ph.D.
    Lauren is currently a post-doctoral researcher in Joel Fodrie's lab at The University of North Carolina.
  • Caroline Peyer, Ph.D.
    Caroline now is Senior Manager of Donor Relations & Outreach at University of Miami.
  • Vanessa Haley, M.S. Student
    Vanessa is currently Science Director for the Bahamas National Trust.
  • Dinorah Chacin, Undergraduate
    Dinorah helped on numerous projects in the lab, and has a cool upcoming paper on bird assemblages across wetland sites in The Bahamas. She has joined Chris Stallings lab at USF.
  • Joey Peters, Undergraduate
    Joey was a long time member of our lab at FIU, and now is in a M.S. program at Portland State.
  • Serina Sebilian, Undergraduate
    Serina will be starting graduate school in fall 2014.
  • Martha Zapata, Undergraduate
    Martha will be starting graduate school in fall 2014.

Other Collaborators