The Drew Lab at Columbia University


10403135_10152326399706845_4334812497099992446_nI am a faculty member in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University.  Here, I teach, conduct research on the evolution and conservation of aquatic tropical  biodiversity, and direct our MA in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology program.

Here you can learn about current research in my lab, the classes I teach, my current students, and our occasional musings. For my CV and lab contact information, please click here.



The fall semester is here and I couldn’t be more excited about my classes. This semester I’m teaching Ichthyology to undergraduates and graduate students (including those from within the department but also from Teacher’s College and CUNY). I’m also working with the incoming MA students through Thesis Development Seminar where we will work on grant writing and forming a literature review.

It’s been a productive summer with two papers submitted, two more getting finished and one paper coming out. The Pokemón community ecology paper is out! This paper started off as a lab assignment and grew into a short piece showing how one can use games to help students learn about difficult topics in ecology and evolution.

We are back from our summer trip to Fiji. This year we were looking at the various ways we can quantify the ecosystem services offered by healthy reefs. Our first project was looking at how anthropogenic impact along coastal sites impacts the resiliency of both men’s and women’s fishing. We did this by using a combination of methodologies from ethnographic research to stable isotope measures and we’re looking forward to seeing how the analyses develop. The second project was in conjunction with WWF’s Global Shark and Ray Initiative  and Barefoot Manta Island resort where we were looking at tourists willingness to pay for various conservation schemes for a community MPA.

This April I joined a Union of Concerned Scientists delegation traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet with congressional staffers to reiterate the importance of climate change research and the need to continue to support funding that research.


My work on the historical ecology of 19th century American Whalers was covered in The AtlanticMental Floss and Hakai Magazine. I love the infographic the latter produced: