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Susan S. Bell

Susan S. Bell

Susan S. Bell


Office: SCA 332
Phone: 813-974-2542
Fax: 974-3263


Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1979.


Marine Ecology, Restoration Ecology

A major focus of my research has been seagrass ecosystems with special emphasis on plant-animal interactions. I am interested in exploring ecological relationships among fish, invertebrates and plant structure. Likewise, I am interested in how animal activity influences spatial distributional patterns of seagrasses. Much of my research focuses on field studies and the seagrass beds in Tampa Bay, located in close proximity to USF, provide excellent experimental systems as well as suitable contrast to other systems within which I have worked (e.g. North Carolina, New Zealand).

My present research interests include examining landscape ecology of seagrass beds and investigating the links between seagrass change and faunal responses to such changes. An additional topic of investigation in which I have been actively involved is restoration of seagrass habitats with a special emphasis on evaluation of functional equivalency of created seagrass beds. Some of my work has addressed short-term questions about faunal invasion and productivity but I am also engaged in longer term studies of fish feeding and invertebrate assemblages in constructed seagrass beds.

Specialty Area

Marine Ecology

Current Courses

RefCourseSecCourse TitleCRDayTimeLocation
52468BSC 4910034Undergraduate Research


Recent Publications

Bell, S.S., B.D. Robbins and S. L. Jensen. 1999. Gap dynamics in a seagrass landscape. Ecosystems 2:493-504

Robbins, and S.S. Bell. 2000. Dynamics of a subtidal seagrass landscape: seasonal and annual change in relation to water depth.  Ecology 81:1193-1205.

Bell, S.S., R.A. Brooks, B.D. Robbins, M.A. Fonseca and M.O. Hall. 2001 Faunal response to fragmentation in seagrass habitats: implications for restoration efforts in a marine environment.  Biol. Conserv. 100:115-123.  

Brooks, R.A. and S.S. Bell.  2001.Colonization of a dynamic substrate: factors affecting recruitment of the wood boring isopod, Sphaeroma tenebrans, onto red mangrove roots. Oecologia 127:522-532.

Brooks R.A..and S.S. Bell. 2001.Mobile corridors in marine landscapes:enhancement of faunal exchange at seagrass/sand ecotones. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 264:67-84.

Jensen, S.L. and S.S. Bell. 2001. Seagrass growth and patch dynamics: cross-scale morphological plasticity.  Plant Ecol.(in press)

Fonseca, M.S., P. E. Whitfield, N. M. Kelly, and S. S. Bell. 2001. Modeling seagrass landscape pattern and associated ecological attributes. Ecological Appl. (In press )

Brooks, R.A. and S.S. Bell. 2001. Mangrove response to attack by a root boring isopod: root repair versus architectural modification. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. (in press)

Bell, S.S., M.O. Hall, S. Soffian and K.M. Madley. 2002. Assessing the impact of boat propeller scars on fish and shrimp utilizing seagrass beds.  Ecological Appl. (in press)