Research

In the Cordes lab, our research is focused on the Ecology of deep-sea ecosystems, at all levels of biological organization. We are interested in how organisms shape their environment by creating habitat heterogeneity and altering biogeochemical cycles on the seafloor. These interests touch on ecosystem level processes, patterns of community assembly, population dynamics, individual habitat preference, physiological responses to changing environments, genetic regulation of metabolic processes, and the microbial processes that govern biogeochemistry. We are also interested in the conservation of deep water habitats, and the lab has been actively investigating the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deepwater coral communities, as well as monitoring ongoing ocean acidification in the deep Gulf of Mexico. All of these research directions involve the continued exploration of the deep ocean in order to test our hypotheses in new places within the largest habitat on Earth. Integrating research across these disciplines has led to the development of a wide variety of capabilities in the lab as well as a large network of national and international collaborators.