Working Groups

Upcoming Working Groups


We have three focal research themes, with our third working currently being prepared for this fall 2023 applications. Please check for updates here on our website and be sure to sign up on our listserv for announcements. 

Our upcoming working group will focus on 'how do feedbacks between natural and socio-economic systems affect their shared resistance and resilience to tropical cyclones?'

Ongoing Working Groups 
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'Biodiversity & Eco-Evolution' Working Group

Work within this theme will identify the most important and sensitive (key) organism types (e.g., long-lived, semelparous, dispersal- and recruitment-limited) responsive to hurricane impacts (e.g., salinization, wind, flooding, storm surge sedimentation) for synthesis and for coordination and standardization of sampling and measurement methods. In addition, this theme will work in collaboration with the antecedent conditions and storm characteristics group to adequately represent realistic impact patterns resulting in consequences for organismal vulnerability, resistance, resilience, and community structure. This will require us to: (1) Synthesize published or available responses of key organisms from coastal, estuarine, and marine ecosystems exposed to hurricanes; (2) Statistically analyze key organismal responses in relation to hypothesized fundamental drivers of antecedent conditions and storm characteristics (e.g., prior storm impacts, wind speed, rainfall, storm surge); and (3) Generate a community consensus of best practices for the measurement of key organisms and their responses.

Currently, working group two consist of about 20 HERS members and there are three investigations in progress. Conceptually, we are aiming to assess the current knowledge and new opportunities for hurricane-mediated evolution and, using a multi-decadal fish trawl dataset, we are exploring how fish biodiversity alter the resistance and resilience of coastal fish communities to storms as well as how fish traits shifts may explain these responses.  

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'Storm Characteristics & Antecedent Conditions' Working Group

Storms vary in their characteristics (wind speeds, track velocities, precipitation, and flooding), and the ecosystems they affect vary in their conditions or states preceding the storm.  This HERS working group, which came together in spring 2022, is brainstorming and forming investigations that will aid in understanding the relative influence of storm characteristics, antecedent conditions, and their interactions on holistic storm effects as a major step forward to developing a predictive science for tropical cyclone impacts on coastal ecosystems. 

Currently, this working group is devling into three themes: (a) understanding pre-storm conditions on forests, (b) conceptual understanding on what pre-storm, environmental conditions are most critical for how organims to ecosystems respond to hurricanes in marine ecosystems, and (c) the interplay of rainfall and drought on ecosystems resistance and resilience to hurricanes.