Robert Scheibling, PhD
George S. Campbell Chair
My research investigates the interplay of deterministic and stochastic processes that shape patterns of abundance, distribution and diversity of marine populations and communities. This work focuses largely on rocky bottom habitats, but encompasses a wide range of biota (from microbes to fish). My students and I employ a variety of technical and analytical procedures in studies ranging from pathology to habitat mapping. I am committed to rigorous testing of hypotheses (in the laboratory and in nature) through experimental designs that are informed by a sound understanding of the natural history and ecology of the model system. Increasingly, we are using mathematical modeling as an effective adjunct to empirical approaches in understanding process and testing theory.
While my work at Dalhousie over the past 3 decades has centered on the dynamics of an ever-changing kelp bed ecosystem along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, I also have been involved in collaborative projects in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the Galapagos, and the Caribbean. My roots as a marine biologist are in the tropics, where I continue a life-long study of the biology and ecology of oreasterid sea stars and the impact humans have had on their populations worldwide.
Over the course of my career I have been blessed in my working association with so many remarkable students. A substantial number of them have gone on to positions in industry, government and academia, where they continue to practice their science and are graduating doctoral students of their own. This gives me immense pleasure and an enduring sense of gratitude for the opportunity to have worked with them.