Ph.D in Ecology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Maine
Dulcinea Groff is a PhD candidate in the Ecology and Environmental Sciences program at the University of Maine as well as a fellow of the IGERT: Adaptation to Abrupt Climate Change program. Her graduate research has explored population fluctuations of seabirds and marine mammals breeding in coastal grasslands in the Falkland Islands off the Patagonian coast in response to abrupt climate change over the past 14,000 years. Records of abrupt changes in tussac grasslands and the abundance of top predators breeding on the Falkland Islands establish a baseline that will provide ecologists and conservation biologists with a reference to contextualize the status of seabirds and their habitats, and the sensitivity of both to global change. Her research also combines the information gleaned from paleo-records with experiments of modern plant climate relationships. For this work, she is developing a novel climate proxy by disentangling how coastal grasslands record environmental parameters, such as soil moisture, temperature, and humidity. When tackling tough conservation problems, Dulcinea feels strongly that interdisciplinary collaboration is a critical step towards finding the right solutions that work for all stakeholders involved.