Peggy Fong ~ Community Ecologist

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Coral reef interactive
Click on the image to explore how Peggy Fong's research connects human impacts to habitats
Dr. Peggy Fong is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA. She is a marine ecologist who works at the interface of ecosystem and community ecology, specifically assessing the influence of human impacts on coastal marine ecosystems, with an overarching goal to inform conservation of habitats in the face of a changing world. Her work includes research on estuaries and lagoons in California and coral reefs off the coast of Panama. Her contributions include the development of novel methods, the identification of the complexities inherent in studying community structure and function, and greater understanding of the interactive forces governing communities.

"To find the smoking gun on causation, the only way is to get out into the field and add or subtract something."
Across the globe, seagrass communities, estuaries and coral reefs are undergoing dramatic shifts correlated to a suite of factors, including climate change, disease, nutrient enrichment and overharvesting. Humans are impacting nutrient cycling and processes through urban development, resource extraction, overfishing, and ecotourism, all of which affect the health and sustainability of coastal marine systems. Peggy's work has relevance not only to ecologists, but also to those concerned with the effects of climate change, the alteration of biogeochemical cycling, and the accelerating human use of natural resources. In order to conserve coastal marine communities, an understanding of the basic ecological processes that shape, maintain, and potentially shift their structure and function is essential. Peggy's research continues to make contributions to the development of global solutions.

Peggy's Research: