CEEL Research Topics

A two column table for formatting purposes.
Coastal River
Coastal Rivers

The coastal plain is one of the least well studied ecoregions in North America and the running waters found on this part of the landscape are no exception. Coastal Rivers are historically understudied by both lotic and estuarine ecologists. The Coastal Estuarine Ecosystems Lab has ongoing research on these important and understudied systems in both Texas and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


Seagrass are in global decline, and it is critically important to understand the consequences of these losses, the reasons for the declines, and develop restoration and management strategies to conserve existing meadows and restore seagrass to places it has been lost. The Coastal Ecosystem Ecology Lab has a multi-pronged research program that touches on all of these areas of study and is integrated with the SAV Restoration and Monitoring Program.


Hurricanes have the power to transform coastal landscapes and affect every aspect of a coastal ecosystem. Understanding the controls on ecosystem sensitivity to these events is a critically important part of predicting how future hurricane disturbance regimes will impact coastal systems, and developing management strategies to increase the resilience of both the anthropogenic and natural parts of coastal ecosystems.

MarineGEO logo
MarineGEO Virginia

CEEL is leading the coordination of several MarineGEO sites, collectively known as MarineGEO Virginia that includes the VA Coastal Bay region near the VIMS Eastern Shore Lab, the VA Coastal Bay region centered on South Bay lead by the UVA-LTER, and the region nearby the VIMS main campus in partnership with CBNERRS-VA.

theoretical ecology
Theoretical Ecology

Testing ecological theory is an important ongoing part of the Coastal Estuarine Ecology Lab programs.  In all of our efforts we strive to draw links between what we’re learning and advancing general theory so that our research will not only benefit our own subdisciplines but ecology as a whole.  In pursuit of that, we often participate in or lead projects in other ecosystems or regions where data are available.