Suzanne Christensen

As a graduate student in the Phycology Laboratory at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories some of my main research interests include; kelp population ecology, kelp community ecology, marine conservation and policy.

My thesis research focuses on interspecific microscopic competition between the California native foundation kelp species Macrocystis pyrifera and 12 other kelp species that occur in Monterey Bay to creatively explore the hypothesis that competition in kelps increases with decreasing phylogenetic distance. The goal of my study is to investigate if the strength of competition in Macrocystis varies as a function of its competitor’s phylogenetic relatedness.