Hello! My name is Matt Whalen and I am an assistant professor of biology at Virginia State University. I am interested in how environmental gradients and species interactions shape patterns of biodiversity, food web structure, and ecosystem functioning across multiple scales. Working with and learning about plants and animals in marine and estuarine habitats inspired me to pursue a life of teaching and research.
My research investigates feedbacks between variation in the environment and biodiversity: where do we find the most biodiversity, and what effect does biodiversity have on key ecosystem processes in coastal marine communities? Through observation, experimentation, and data synthesis, I aim to find out discern processes underlying the causes and consequences of biodiversity, and how those feedbacks play out at different temporal and spatial resolutions.
My research spans habitats and scales: from documenting novel symbionts to exploring global gradients in climate and biodiversity. I actively work in rocky intertidal shores, subtidal rocky reefs, seagrass meadows, fouling communities on docks and piers, and in tidal freshwater streams.
I am also interested in thinking about how human history and deep geologic history inform our understanding of present day ecological patterns and where our ecosystems are headed in the future.
I enjoy being on the water, hiking, brewing beer, cooking with my partner, and I love the feeling I get when I see how math, science, and art yield insight, context, and meaning to our lives and how we approach our daily lives.
Thanks for visiting and feel free to drop a line.
Matt, thanks for the background on your areas of research interest. I am sure our Young Scholars students will appreciate hearing about your work this Saturday when we visit.
Great intro, Matt! Looking forward to meeting you… and our SURF group working with you in Bodega Bay (and Fort Ross?) come April 17th!
what a great site Matt! Christopher and I are enjoying following you. Thanks so much for sharing the Halloween witch and gnomes photo! Hope you are both better than well.Happy spring! 4/8/17