School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Ecology Research Students

Izzy Lake
Izzy Lake

Project description

My research focuses on the tropical seagrass species, turtle grass, and how it is impacted by coastal human activities. I am investigating the seagrass biomass, growth rate and isotopic composition

Coastal ecosystems are vital for many species at all life stages and seagrass is found globally around the coast. It is a primary source of nutrition for many juvenile species, such as the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas. Yet little is known about their interactions with anthropogenic activity.

Seagrass pastures dominate the coastline of southern Eleuthera alongside settlements. I have been researching whether anthropogenic activity is impacting the seagrass, Thalassia testudinum, around southern Eleuthera.

Activities such as agriculture, poor waste management and industrialisation cause pollution and nutrient loading can impact the growth rate and biomass. They can potentially influence isotopic composition.

When seagrass changes in distribution, biomass and declines in potential energy available, issues arise for many coastal species, such as:

  • sea turtles
  • juvenile reef fish
  • juvenile sharks

This affects the ecotourism economy in The Bahamas. A decline in seagrass may further decline in populations such as the green sea turtle. It may even affect commercially important fish populations.

Interests

Scuba diving, boating, swimming, free diving and music

Qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) Marine Biology
  • PADI Rescue Diver
  • RYA powerboat level 2
  • Emergency First Responder