Bertness Lab Mark Bertness Lablogo
Coastal Ecology and Conservation at Brown University


Matt Bevil
Undergraduate Researcher

Sc. B. Marine Biology, Brown University (Expected 2014)



I am broadly interested in understanding ecosystem structure and function as well as effectively communicating our knowledge of these systems in order to aid conservation efforts.

I am currently working with fellow undergrad, Sinead Crotty, to assess the recent spread of salt marsh die-off into Narragansett Bay. Creek bank die-off has been documented in Cape Cod marshes, but only recently arrived in Rhode Island. We are looking at how patterns of die-off relate to shoreline development, recreational fishing, substrate hardness, and nutrient loading in Narragansett Bay. To quantify the spread of salt marsh die-off we are mapping creek bank die-off throughout the Bay with GPS and archived aerial photographs and using Sesarma reticulatum densities, burrow densities, substrate hardness, nutrient levels, herbivory rates, and predation rates to explain the spatial relationship between these variables and creek bank die-off.

This project is made possible through the Voss Environmental Fellows Program with the additional support of the Henry David Thoreau Foundation, Peter and Pamela Voss, Brown University’s Swearer Center, the Woods Lectureship Fund, the Center for Environmental Studies and Environmental Change Initiative.