Robyn A Zerebecki, PhD formally joined the Department of Biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an Assistant Professor in August 2023. However, she has been serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor since 2020. She teaches ecology courses and conducts research on eco-evolutionary feedbacks within coastal marshes. She grew up outside of Toronto, Canada and fell in love with the ocean as a kid during family vacations, which led to pursuing a degree and being trained as a marine ecologist (BS, Marine and Freshwater Biology; MS in Marine Biology). While working as a research technician at Florida State University Coastal and Marine lab, she got involved in salt marsh research in the Gulf of Mexico and as was able to merge her interests in community ecology and genetics, receiving a PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology from Northeastern University in 2018. She then served as a post-doctoral researcher at Dauphin Island Sea lab assessing the role that biodiversity (species and genetics) can have on resistance and recovery of coastal ecosystems to oiling disturbance.
The Zerebecki lab is focused on understanding the causes and consequences of biodiversity in coastal ecosystems. Many coastal habitats are dominated by single foundation species (e.g., kelp or seagrass) and Dr. Zerebecki and her associates examine the impact of within-species variation in these habitat-forming species on population-, community-, and ecosystem-level responses. To date, they have primarily focused on intraspecific variation (both genotypic and phenotypic) in the clonal grass, Spartina alterniflora, the dominant foundation species in salt marshes across the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts. They use a combination of field surveys, molecular techniques, and laboratory and field experiments in coastal wetlands to address a variety of ecological and evolutionary questions.