Natascia Tamburello

My degrees

BSc Biology, McGill University

What I am now

PhD candidate





My research

Species invasions are recognized as one of the most important ecological issues of our time. There is growing recognition that many invasions occur across heterogeneous environments rendered patchy through either natural or anthropogenic processes.  Recent studies have confirmed that movement behaviour of native species can be linked to environmental structure but how habitat heterogeneity influences invasion dynamics is not well understood. I am using the invasion of Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) on reefs throughout the Caribbean basin as a convenient model system to investigate invasion in the context of environmental heterogeneity.

By tagging and tracking individual lionfish in the wild, I am investigating site fidelity and the scale and frequency of invasive lionfish displacements in environments of differing complexity. A secondary objective is to investigate which specific abiotic (eg. habitat diversity, habitat structure) and biotic (eg. prey availability, conspecific density, sex, reproductive state) factors are most important in contributing to the displacements, and ultimately to the dispersal, of this marine invader.