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Home » About » Directory » Faculty

Emmett J. Duffy

Loretta and Lewis Glucksman Professor of Marine Science
Email: [[jeduffy]]
Phone: (804) 684-7369
Department:: Biological Sciences
Office: Andrews Hall 332
Address: P.O. Box 1346 Gloucester Pt., VA 23062-1346, USA

Curriculum Vitae

Emmett Duffy's CV

Emmett Duffy's Bio

  • B.S., Spring Hill College
  • M.S., University of Maine
  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Interests

Check out our Marine Biodiversity Lab website (soon to be updated . . .)

My interests range broadly over the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that generate and maintain diversity in natural communities, and their consequences for the functioning of ecosystems and provision of services important to humanity.  What causes populations to differentiate, and new species to emerge?  On an ecological time scale, how is species diversity maintained and what are its functional consequences?  Our current research addresses such questions by integrating methods from experimental ecology, behavioral ecology, population biology, and systematics.  Most of our efforts focus on the community- and ecosystem-level consequences of resource use patterns and interactions in marine animals and plants.  Long-term research themes include (1) studies of functional diversity and its influence on trophic processes using the simple food webs of seagrass beds as a model system (Chesapeake Bay), and (2) systematic, ecological, and behavioral studies of the evolutionary radiation of sponge-dwelling reef shrimp (Caribbean). Current and recent student projects include food web dynamics and environmental forcing in seagrass-bed communities; roles of animal diversity in mediating marine ecosystem processes; influence of environmental stress on epifaunal community organization and functioning; and systematics, ecology, and evlution of Caribbean sponge-dwelling shrimps.

Current Projects
  • Biocomplexity and environmental change in a vegetated estuarine ecosystem.  Funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • Sociobiology and phylogenetic community ecology of coral-reef shrimp.  Funded by the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Institution.
  • Mesograzer impacts in marine vegetation. Funded by the ARC-NZ Research Network for Vegetation Function.

Selected Publications
  • Duffy, J.E. 2009. Why biodiversity is important to functioning of real-world ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, in press.
  • Macdonald III, K.S., K.M. Hultgren, and J.E. Duffy. 2009. Sponge-dwelling snapping shrimp of Discovery Bay, Jamaica, with descriptions of four new species. Zootaxa, in press.
  • Srivastava, D.S., B.J. Cardinale, A.L. Downing, J.E. Duffy, C. Jouseau, M. Sankaran, and J.P. Wright. 2009. Diversity has stronger top-down than bottom-up effects on decomposition. Ecology 90:1073-1083.
  • Tóth, E. and J.E. Duffy. 2008. Influence of sociality on allometric growth and morphological differentiation in sponge-dwelling alpheid shrimp. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 94:527-540.
  • Duffy, J.E. and M. Thiel, editors. 2007. Evolutionary Ecology Of Social And Sexual Systems: Crustaceans As Model Organisms. Oxford University Press.
  • Duffy, J.E., B.J. Cardinale, K.E. France, P.B. McIntyre, E. Thébault, and M. Loreau. 2007. The functional role of biodiversity in food webs: Incorporating trophic complexity.  Ecology Letters 10:522-538.
  • Stachowicz, J.J., J.F. Bruno, and J.E. Duffy. 2007. Understanding the effects of marine biodiversity on community and ecosystem processes. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 38:739-766.
  • Ríos, R. and J.E. Duffy. 2007. A review of the sponge-dwelling snapping shrimp from Carrie Bow Cay, Belize, with description of Zuzalpheus, new genus, and six new species (Crustacea: Decapoda: Alpheidae). Zootaxa 1602:1-89.
  • Spivak, A.C., E.A. Canuel, J.E. Duffy, and J.P. Richardson. 2007. Top-down and bottom-up controls on sediment organic matter composition in an experimental seagrass ecosystem. Limnology and Oceanography 52: 2595-2607.
  • Worm, B., E.B. Barbier, N. Beaumont, J.E. Duffy, C. Folke, B.S. Halpern, J.B.C. Jackson, H.K. Lotze, F. Micheli, S.R. Palumbi, E. Sala, K.A. Selkoe, J.J. Stachowicz, and R. Watson. 2006. Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services. Science 314:787-790.
  • Cardinale, B.J., Srivastava, D.S., Duffy, J.E., Wright, J.P., Downing, A.L., Sankaran, M. and Jouseau, C. 2006. Effects of biodiversity on the functioning of trophic groups and ecosystems: A meta-analysis. Nature 443:989-992.
  • France, K.E. and J.E. Duffy. 2006. Biodiversity, dispersal, and scale interactively affect stability of ecosystem function in seagrass metacommunities. Nature 441:1139-1143.
  • Duffy, J.E. and J.J. Stachowicz. 2006. Why biodiversity is important to oceanography: potential roles of genetic, species, and trophic diversity in pelagic ecosystem processes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 311:179-189.
  • Macdonald, K.S. III, R. Ríos, and J.E. Duffy. 2006. Biodiversity, host specificity, and dominance by eusocial species among sponge-dwelling alpheid shrimp on the Belize Barrier Reef. Diversity And Distributions 12:165-178.
  • Duffy, J.E., J.P. Richardson, and K.E. France. 2005.  Ecosystem consequences of diversity depend on food chain length in estuarine vegetation. Ecology Letters 8:301-309.
  • Tóth, E. and J.E. Duffy. 2005. Coordinated group response to nest intruders in social shrimp. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biology Letters,1:49-52.
  • Morrison, C. L., R. Ríos, and J.E. Duffy.  2004. Phylogenetic evidence for an ancient rapid radiation of Caribbean sponge-dwelling snapping shrimps (Synalpheus). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 30:563-58.
  • Duffy, J.E., E.A. Canuel, and J.P. Richardson. 2003. Grazer diversity and ecosystem functioning in seagrass beds. Ecology Letters 6:637-645.
  • Duffy, J.E. 2003. Biodiversity loss, trophic skew, and ecosystem functioning. Ecology Letters 6:680-687.
  • Duffy, J.E. 2002. Biodiversity and ecosystem function: the consumer connection. Oikos 99:201-21.  

Current Students
  • Rachael Blake, Ph.D. student. Ecological consequences of anthropogenic impacts on the eelgrass (Zostera marina) community in the lower Chesapeake Bay.
  • Jonathan Lefcheck, Ph.D. student. Topic TBA.
  • Althea Moore, M.S. student. Testing the equivalency of seagrass species in providing structural habitat for community processes and interactions.
  • Kathryn Sobocinski, Ph.D. student. Connecting Productivity in Eelgrass Beds to Recreationally Important Finfishes in Chesapeake Bay: Forage Fishes as Trophic Conduits.
  • Matthew Whalen, M.S. student. Bottom-up and top-down processes in a natural seagrass system: a mesograzer-exclusion experiment without cages.

Past Students
  • James Douglass, Ph.D. 2008 (Marine Science Network Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian)
  • Amanda Spivak, Ph.D. 2008 (Postdoctoral Researcher, Miami University of Ohio)
  • William Tarantino, M.S. 2008 (Wilderness medic, Sierra Nevadas)
  • Kristin France, Ph.D. 2007 (Senior Scientist, The Nature Conservancy)
  • Ruben Ríos, Ph.D. 2003. (VIMS)
  • Kenneth S. Macdonald, Ph.D. 2002. (Postdoctoral Researcher, New Mexico State University)
  • Jennifer M. Rhode, Ph.D. 2002. (Assistant Professor, UNC Asheville)
  • Alessandra Sagasti, Ph.D. 2000. (Assistant Profesor, Montgomery College)
  • Annie Harvilicz, B.S. Biology with High Honors, 1999. (Veterinarian, The Big Apple)
  • Molly Mitchell, B.S. Biology with Honors, 1999.  (Scientist, VIMS)
  • John D. Parker, M.S.1998. (Senior Scientist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)

Courses Taught
  • MS 526: Marine Ecology (alternate years)
  • MS 576: Evolutionary Ecology(alternate years)
  • MS 698: Dynamic Food Webs (with Sebastian Schreiber)
  • MS 698: Ecological stoichiometry (with Kam Tang)
  • MS 698: Species diversity in ecological communities
  • MS 698: Modeling Nature (with Hugh Ducklow)
  • MS 698: Phylogenetics
  • MS 698: Biological Sciences Seminar (coordinator)
  • MS 698: Perspectives in Evolution (with John Graves)
  • MS 698: Biodiversity:structure, function, and conservation (with Mike Vecchione)

Faculty and Student Awards
  • 2009. Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, The College of William and Mary
  • 2008. Keynote Speaker, 7th International Flatfish Symposium, Sesimbra, Portugal
  • 2007. Invited speaker, Gordon Research Conference on Plant-Herbivore Interactions
  • 2006. Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship
  • 2006. Invited speaker, The next generation of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research, DIVERSITAS, Borneo, Malaysia
  • 2002. Plenary speaker, International Union for the Study of Social Insects, Hokkaido, Japan
  • 1992. Invited Speaker, Gordon Research Conference on Plant-Herbivore Interactions
  • 1992. National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Biology
  • 1990. Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 1988. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Short-term Fellowship

Professional Memberships
  • American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
  • Ecological Society of America
  • Society for the Study of Evolution
  • The Crustacean Society (North American Governor, 2002-2005)

Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Efforts