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The Gownaris Lab at Gettysburg College relies on quantitative methods to inform marine and freshwater ecology and conservation in a rapidly changing world. Our research seeks to better understand how marine foragers respond to climate shifts and extremes, with a focus on intraspecific variation in these responses. Additionally, we conduct research into DEIB in STEM and into global marine spatial planning.

As part of the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Department at Gettysburg College, our lab members have diverse research interests. Current projects in the lab range from using bibliometric data data to examine patterns in "parachute science" in the field of ecology to using tern chick provisioning data to better understand how individuals vary in their dietary responses to marine heatwaves. Check out our research page for more information on current projects and our inclusive STEM page for open resources on inclusive STEM education! 

Lab News 

Gownaris lab graduates Julia and Alex present their research at the Ecological Society of America Conference in Montreal.
Julia Sharapi ('22), Alexandros Economou-Garcia ('22), and Tasha reunited in Montreal for ESA 2022. Julia and Alex presented on their honors thesis work, while Tasha presented on seabird diet flexibility in the Gulf of Maine. Julia is now a graduate student at the University of Georgia. Alex works as an environmental consultant at ERM. 
Julia's talk, "Estimating Fish Diet in a Desert Lake Undergoing Massive Ecosystem Change", discussed her use of Bayesian mixing models and stable isotope data to better understand how Lake Turkana's fishes might respond to ongoing hydrological change in the region. Her models revealed some unexpected results and indicated that small pelagic fishes in the lake might not be declining as much as previously thought. Julia continues to work with stable isotopes as a research assistant at the Center for Applied Isotope Studies at UGA. 
Alex's talk, "The North Helicoptering Into the South: A Meta-Analysis of Parachute Science in Ecological Field Studies", discussed his use of bibliometrics data to understand temporal and spatial patterns of parachute science in the field of ecology. In this study, parachute science refers to research published on a country without involvement of local coauthors. Alex found that 73% of papers published on Global North countries include a local author, while only 43% of papers published on Global South countries do.