University of Georgia

Amanda Spivak: Studying ecosystems one coast at a time

Photography By Jason Thrasher
University of Georgia researcher Amanda Spivak in her laboratory
Amanda Spivak, associate professor of marine sciences, studies the ecology of coastal ecosystems, which sit at the interface of terrestrial landscapes and marine waters—where the edge of the land meets with the ocean.
gloved hands holding sample and sample tray
Spivak focuses on ecosystems that tend to be vegetated, which include seagrasses, salt marshes and mangroves. The vegetation pulls CO2 from the atmosphere and stores some of it in below-ground roots. Disturbances that impair plant growth or alter soil processes limit this ability and diminish the ecosystem’s function in the carbon cycle.