As a Master’s student in Dr. Evelyn Gaiser’s lab at Florida International University I am investigating the dynamics of benthic microbial communities in the Florida Everglades. My research will determine the causes for losses of structural integrity of microbial mats upon phosphorus enrichment as well as resultant metabolic and algal compositional changes. I am broadly interested in algae community ecology, life histories, and systematics and focus on research that ties algal ontogeny and evolutionary history to algal population, community, and ecosystem dynamics. Resolving algal life histories and taxonomy will augment more a holistic understanding of the roles algae play in ecosystems and more accurate applications of algae to ecological monitoring, and I am eager to contribute to these fields.