University of South Florida
College of Arts and Sciences
Contribute to our future
Office: BSF 215 & CGS 430
Lab: BSF 258/260
Email: garey (at) usf.edu
Biology and Geology of Springs and Aquifers
The main area of research involves biodiversity, hydrology and geochemistry of coastal cave and aquifer systems. These are interesting because they are the below ground interface between the aquifer and the Gulf of Mexico. We are particularly interested in anaerobic environments where sulfur is used instead of oxygen. This work includes molecular analysis of bacterial and microeukaryote communities in the cave systems. We are carrying out long term studies of several coastal cave systems on the Florida Gulf coast.
Other work in my lab uses molecular sequence data to study the community structure of organisms living in marine sediments and in soil. We have developed new methods to analyze sequence data that provides a much more detailed picture of community structure across a much larger cross section of organisms than traditional morphological analysis. We are currently working on a project involving shallow hydrothermal vents in Papua New Guinea that deliver large amounts of arsenic to a coral reef community. Our molecular and morphological analyses are revealing how the community around the vents is affected by the arsenic and other physical parameters associated with the vents. Another project that was recently published examined soil mesofauna across the globe to determine if there is a correlation between above ground and below ground biodiversity and if small soil organisms tend to be cosmopolitan in distribution.
Research in my laboratory also involves the use of molecular sequence data to investigate evolutionary relationships of living organisms. Investigations carried out in my lab to date have shown that among animals, protostomes are divided into two major lineages: the Ecdysozoa (molting animals: arthropods, nematodes, tardigrades, priapulids and others) and the Lophotrochozoans (annelids, molluscs, lophophorates and others).
Madison Davis, Chelsea Dinon , Arian Farid, Meghan Gordon, Robert Scharping