Awardee: Rachel Turba
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Coastal lagoons in California are the numerically dominant form of coastal wetland and provide a suite of ecological services and habitats to many endangered species, including the tidewater goby. These systems suffer ever increasing urbanization pressures and the introduction of non-native species, which ultimately affect local community dynamics, and may pose a barrier for the dispersal and settlement of endemic and endangered species. We will investigate shifts in community structure related to such impacts through exploration of environmental DNA from water samples and sediments from these lagoons, with the goal to address conservation efforts related to translocation of populations or local environment improvement.