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James Douglass, PhD

Associate Professor
Dept Marine & Ecological Sciences
Office: Whitaker Hall WH - 207
Phone: 239-590-1268
Email: jdouglass@fgcu.edu

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Education

PhD Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 2008
BS Biology, Rice University, 2002

Specialties

Marine benthic ecology

Research and Teaching Interests

I study the interactions among living organisms and the surrounding environment in benthic (sea bottom) habitats. I am particularly interested in structure-forming organisms like seagrasses, macroalgae, and oysters, because of their important roles in increasing biodiversity and providing valuable ecosystem functions like biological productivity and water quality enhancement. Much of my recent research has been directed towards understanding ecosystem responses to man-made environmental stressors, and I try to combine my research with advocacy for environmental conservation and restoration. Undergraduate and graduate students are a critical component of my research at FGCU, and I encourage motivated students to get involved in my lab's research through volunteering, internships, and independent projects.

Courses Offered

Within the BS Marine Science program, I regularly teach Marine Ecology (OCB4633C), Field Studies in Marine Biology (OCB3108C), and Senior Seminar Marine Science (OCB4936). I occasionally teach Marine Ecosystems Monitoring and Research Methods (PCB3436C), and various special topics and current topics courses. Another course I will often teach is Environmental Research Design (ISC3154). I also frequently teach a general education level oceanography course called Marine Systems (OCE1001C), which is commonly taken by first-year non-science majors.

Publications

Selected Publications:

  • JG Douglass, R Paperno, EA Reyier, AH Hines (2018) Fish and seagrass communities vary across a marine reserve boundary, but seasonal variation in small fish abundance overshadows top-down effects of large consumer exclosures. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 507: 39-52. 
  • SC McAskill, JG Douglass (2017) Salinity and temperature alter Pomacea maculata herbivory rates on Vallisneria americana. Journal of Molluscan Studies 
  • JL Ruesink, JJ Stachowicz, PL Reynolds, C Boström, M Cusson, J Douglass, J Eklöf, AH Engelen, M Hori, K Hovel, K Iken, PO Moksnes, M Nakaoka, MI O'Connor, JL Olsen, EE Sotka, MA Whalen, JE Duffy (2017) Form-function relationships in a marine foundation species depend on scale: a shoot to global perspective from a distributed ecological experiment. Oikos 
  • MES Bracken, JG Douglass, V Perini, GJ Trussell (2017) Spatial scale mediates the effects of biodiversity on marine primary producers. Ecology 98:1434-1443
  • JE Duffy, PL Reynolds, C Boström, JA Coyer, M Cusson, S Donadi, JG Douglass, JS Eklöf, AH Engelen, BK Eriksson, S Fredriksen, L Gamfeldt, C Gustafsson, G Hoarau, M Hori, K Hovel, K Iken, JS Lefcheck, P-O Moksnes, M Nakaoka, MI O'Connor, JL Olsen, JP Richardson, JL Ruesink, EE Sotka, J Thormar, MA Whalen, JJ Stachowicz (2015) Biodiversity mediates top–down control in eelgrass ecosystems: a global comparative-experimental approach. Ecology Letters 18:696-705
  • CW Gunnels IV, D Buzasi, MK Cassani, J Douglass, T El-Hefnway, EM Everham III, A Hartley, J Herman, M Mujtaba, J Muller, A Nicolas, L Southard, S Thomas, NE Demers (2015) Engaging students in ethical considerations of the scientific process through a simulated funding panel. CUR Quarterly 36:12-18
  • JG Douglass (2014) South Florida Water Management District, 2014 Systems Status Report: CERP Northern Estuaries Region, Caloosahatchee Estuary Submerged Aquatic Vegetation 1998-2013
  • JG Douglass, EA Canuel, JE Duffy (2011) Food web structure in a Chesapeake Bay eelgrass bed as determined through gut contents and 13C and 15N isotope analysis. Estuaries and Coasts 34: 701-711.
  • JG Douglass, KE France, JP Richardson, JE Duffy (2010) Seasonal and interannual change in a Chesapeake Bay eelgrass community: insights into biotic and abiotic control of community structure. Limnology and Oceanography 55: 1499-1520.
  • AC Spivak, EA Canuel, JE Duffy, JG Douglass, JP Richardson (2009) Epifaunal community composition and nutrient addition alter sediment organic matter composition in a natural eelgrass Zostera marina bed: a field experiment. Marine Ecology Progress Series 376: 55-67.
  • JG Douglass, JE Duffy, JF Bruno (2008) Herbivore and predator diversity interactively affect ecosystem properties in a marine community. Ecology Letters 11: 598-608
  • JG Douglass, JE Duffy, AC Spivak, JP Richardson (2007) Nutrient versus consumer control of community structure in a Chesapeake Bay eelgrass habitat. Marine Ecology Progress Series 348: 71-83.

Conference Presentations

My research students and I regularly present our research findings at professional conferences. In this list of presentation, UG and G indicate undergraduate and graduate student co-authors, respectively:
  • JG Douglass, (G) AC Sang (2018) Direct and indirect effects of disturbance on SW Florida Seagrasses. 47th Annual Benthic Ecology Meeting, Corpus Christi, TX.
  • (G) LM Rickards, JG Douglass (2018) Assessing seagrass responses to reduced optical water quality and other changes in Estero Bay, FL. 47th Annual Benthic Ecology Meeting, Corpus Christi, TX.
  • (G) LM Rickards, JG Douglass (2017) Mapping of bay-wide seagrass and related water quality parameters in Estero Bay. Poster presentation at Lee County GIS Symposium
  • JG Douglass and (G) S McAskill (2016) Interactive effects of environmental stressors and invasive apple snails on submerged vegetation in fresh and brackish water. Oral presentation at Florida United Malacologists meeting, Sanibel, FL
  • (G) T Behlmer and JG Douglass (2016) Indirect effects of freshwater discharges on seagrass beds in SW Florida: Mesograzers as mediators of epiphyte growth? Oral presentation at 45th Annual Benthic Ecology Meeting, Portland, ME (Thomas' presentation title was the same his 2015 title, but he included much more data and gave the presentation orally instead of as a poster)
  • (G) T Behlmer and JG Douglass (2015) Indirect effects of freshwater discharges on seagrass beds in SW Florida: Mesograzers as mediators of epiphyte growth? Poster presentation at 44th Annual Benthic Ecology Meeting, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • (G) S McAskill and JG Douglass (2015) Effects of multiple stressors on interactions between an invasive herbivore and native SAV in Southwest Florida estuaries. Oral presentation at 44th Annual Benthic Ecology Meeting, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • JG Douglass (2015) Synergistic effects of hydrologic changes and biological feedback processes on SAV in the Caloosahatchee Estuary. Oral presentation at 44th Annual Benthic Ecology Meeting, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • JG Douglass (2014) The rainbow of death: Caloosahatchee SAV trends since 1998. Oral presentation at Southwest Florida Seagrass Working Group, Sarasota, FL
  • (G) S McAskill, (UG) Spencer Talmage, and JG Douglass (2014b) Effects of salinity and temperature on consumption of a native SAV by an invasive herbivorous gastropod. Poster presentation at Florida Native Plant Society Conference, FGCU, Fort Myers, FL
  • (G) S McAskill, (UG) Spencer Talmage, and JG Douglass (2014a) Effects of salinity and temperature on consumption of a native SAV by an invasive herbivorous gastropod. Poster presentation at 43rd annual Benthic Ecology Meeting, Jacksonville, FL
  • (UG) S Mariolan and JG Douglass (2014) Spatial and seasonal patterns of epiphyte abundance on seagrasses in the Caloosahatchee Estuary, Florida; Abiotic drivers and ecological consequences. Poster presentation at 43rd annual Benthic Ecology Meeting, Jacksonville, FL
  • JG Douglass (2014) Top-down effects in the context of seasonal change in a subtropical seagrass ecosystem. Oral presentation at 43rd Annual Benthic Ecology Meeting, Jacksonville, FL
  • (UG) H Butler, (UG) W McDowell, and JG Douglass (2013) Characterization of SAV epifaunal communities in Florida's Caloosahatchee Estuary. Poster presentation at 42nd Annual Benthic Ecology Meeting, Savannah, GA
  • (UG) S Mariolan and JG Douglass (2013) Assessing

Grants & Awards

  • FGCU Scholarship-research Venture Fund Committee. Seagrass Health and Restoration: Sediment Dynamics. $16,780. With Dr. David Fugate.
  • South Florida Water Management District. Ecological and Environmental Scientific and Technology Support Services: University Support. With several colleagues from the FGCU Marine and Ecological Sciences Department.
  • City of Naples, FL. Naples Bay Oyster Reef Restoration Ecological Monitoring, 2018-2021. $50,000. With Serge Thomas.
  • Snook and Gamefish Foundation, subcontract through Johnson Engineering Incorporated: Vallisneria americana restoration research assistance, 2018 $5000
  • National Science Foundation, Collaborative Research: The tropicalization of Western Atlantic seagrass beds, 2018-2020 $57,496
  • South Florida Water Management District, Resolving Uncertainties in Restoration of Seagrasses in the Caloosahatchee Estuary: Epiphytes, 2015-2016 $25,000
  • Lee County, FL Gulf Coast University Ecological Baseline Survey of North Spreader Canal, Cape Coral, 2014-2015 $34,452
  • South Florida Water Management District, Caloosahatchee River Estuary Patch-Scale Submersed Aquatic Vegetation Monitoring 2013-2014, $47,600
  • South Florida Water Management District, Aerial Imagery Acquisition, West Coast Boca Grande to Wiggins Pass, 2014, $41,300
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Aerial Imagery Acquisition, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 2014, $25,875,
  • South Florida Water Management District, Caloosahatchee River Estuary Patch Scale Submersed Aquatic Vegetation Monitoring and Evaluation 2012-2013, $43,200

Follow my science and environmental commentary and see pictures from our Florida Keys Field trips on the Dr. Douglass Science Network facebook page.

Faculty CV