A primary focus of my research is to evaluate evolutionary processes in the paleotropics. My research initiatives address:
The reef ecosystem provides the empirical database from which I synthesize patterns and processes affecting reef evolution and demise. I examine reefs that evolved under Cretaceous "greenhouse," Pleistocene "icehouse" and Oligocene transitional climate states, and evaluate biotic changes in the context of the tropical ocean-climate system.
I also have an active program examining modern reefs to ascertain if a biotic replacement will occur as we move rapidly toward a warmer climate state. The ultimate focus of my work is to evaluate the complexity of paleobiologic and paleoecologic factors that combined to allow the reef ecosystem to persist over 600 million years of Earth’s history. With this knowledge, predictions about the future health of our modern reef ecosystem can be made.