Sponge Ecology

There are about 9000 sponge species worldwide and they have successful expanded into diverse ecological niches in both freshwater and marine ecosystems. On coral reefs, where space is limited and there are abundant predators, many sponges use chemical defenses to deter predators and compete for space. I study the role of these chemicals as feeding deterrents to fish and invertebrate predators, but am also interested in many other aspects of sponge ecology.