Beth Stauffer, PhD joined the Biology Department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an Assistant Professor in January 2015. She received her PhD in Marine Environmental Biology in 2011 from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and her BS in Marine Science and Biology in 2000 from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.
Dr. Stauffer investigates protistan and phytoplankton community dynamics and how these populations contribute to and are affected by environmental perturbations in coastal and estuarine ecosystems, including harmful algal blooms (HABs) and coastal hypoxia. Generally, her interest is in understanding how we can best understand complex biological systems and their forcing mechanisms operating on different spatio-temporal scales. She is also highly interested in the intersection of human activities and development with the natural coastal environment and with the health and sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. Key ecological questions that drive Dr. Stauffer's research include: How do bloom-forming phytoplankton species respond to (often rapidly) changing environmental conditions? What implications do algal blooms have on heterotrophic protistan dynamics? Can we gain a better understanding of bloom and hypoxia dynamics over short timescales to aid prediction and/or mitigation of these events? She utilizes both laboratory- and field-based approaches to investigate these questions.