Kelly L. Robinson, PhD joined the Department of Biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an assistant professor in August 2016. She received her PhD in Marine Science in 2012 from the University of South Alabama. She received her MS in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in 2007 from the University of Florida and her BS in Biology in 2004 from Sweet Briar College.
Dr. Robinson's research interests as a coastal biological oceanographer are broadly aimed at understanding how marine zooplankton populations respond to climate-related and anthropogenic perturbations, with an emphasis on gelatinous plankton predators (i.e. jellyfish). Specifically, how variability in biophysical features operating at a range of spatio-temporal scales affect abundance, distribution, and mediate predator-prey interactions. Key questions include: What is the long-term response of zooplankton production to climate forcing? What are the biophysical drivers of fine-scale variation (i.e. 'patchiness') in zooplankton abundance? Do the effects of drivers vary with large-scale climate forcing? How does climate-driven variation in plankton production affect food web energy transfer to lower (e.g. microbial) and upper level consumers (e.g., planktivorous fish) in coastal marine ecosystems? She addresses questions related to this topic using a combination of experimental lab work, field studies, and modeling (including spatial analysis and food web modeling). Dr. Robinson is particularly interested in applying novel technologies and approaches like plankton imaging systems and data science to marine ecology questions.