Kathy Van AlstyneMarine Chemical Ecology

I am interested in the ecology, physiology, and biochemistry of marine plants and seaweeds. Although I have studied many different aspects of marine macrophyte ecology and physiology, I am particularly interested in the role of that natural products play in mediating interactions among organisms. Much of my research looks at the costs, benefits, and environmental impacts of the production of these metabolites. As a result, my lab addresses many different types of questions related to the synthesis and use of these compounds. Some of the topics that my lab conducts research on include:

  • resource allocation strategies and phenotypic plasticity,
  • the influence of allelopathic natural products on interaction strengths, food webs, and community dynamics,
  • the effects of environmental stresses, including climate change and ocean acidification, on the production, efficacy, and impacts of marine allelochemicals and toxins,
  • the effects of bioactive natural products on the formation, persistence, and environmental consequences of harmful seaweed blooms,
  • algal volatile compounds as airborne signaling molecules in intertidal environments, and
  • the role of sulfur-based algal metabolites in the movement of sulfur from coastal waters to the atmosphere    


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Contact Information

Shannon Point Marine Center
Western Washington University
1900 Shannon Point Road
Anacortes, WA 98221
Phone: (360) 293-2189 x-226
Fax: (360) 650-1083
Office: MC 142

Page Updated 10.18.2012