PhD, Marine Biosciences, University of Delaware, 2019.
Dr. McAllister is working with Dr. Carol Stepien (Genetics and Genomics) and Dr. Dave Butterfield (Earth-Ocean Interactions), researching species composition, diversity, and connectivity of microbial, fish, and invertebrate communities in chemosynthetic hydrothermal environments, a.k.a. the dark biosphere. Hydrothermal plumes and methane seeps are habitats with a high flux of reduced chemicals that can be used by chemoautotrophic bacteria and archaea to produce energy for growth, supporting a broader biological community. Understanding the links between these communities and the hydrothermal environment is key to understanding their impacts on coastal fisheries and the blue economy. Dr. McAllister’s research uses eDNA metabarcoding, RADSeq of selected taxa, and metagenomics to address these interests.