Em Lim

My pronouns
They/them

My degrees
BSc Biology, University of British Columbia

What I am now
MSc student

Email : em_lim@sfu.ca       Twitter : @sea_en_emily

My research

My research is broadly focused on the role of macroinvertebrates in animal-mediated nutrient cycling. Specifically, I am exploring the functional role of temperate sea cucumbers in nearshore marine communities. Despite the longstanding assumption that animal-mediated nutrient cycling is less important in nutrient-rich waters, empirical evidence for this is lacking. Thus, I am working on a meta-analysis of the published literature to assess the effects of animal-provisioned nutrients on primary productivity in marine ecosystems. While much of the focus on animal-mediated nutrient cycling has been on nitrogen, biogenic cycling of other important compounds is also possible. Calcification by marine organisms require biologically available calcium carbonate, which becomes scarce as the ocean acidifies. Fortunately, the recycling of calcium carbonate may buffer against decalcification. I aim to determine whether temperate sea cucumbers are able to cycle calcium carbonate like their tropical counterparts, which dissolve ingested coral rubble into carbonate and calcium ions. With laboratory experiments, I aim to elucidate whether sea cucumbers are able to mitigate the effects of ocean acidification on the growth rate of a commercially important calcifying marine species, the Pacific oyster. Finally, I seek to quantify the contribution of macroinvertebrates to community nitrogen budgets on temperate rocky reefs using underwater benthic surveys and laboratory estimations of excretion rates.