Skip to main content

Saving Mangroves: Ryann Rossi

CALS student Ryann Rossi studies mangroves

Off in the Caribbean, Ryann Rossi dives deep into the region’s mangrove ecosystems.

Mangroves are beneficial both environmentally and economically. These halophytes — plants adapted to grow in saltwater — provide an estimated $1.6 billion in ecosystem services worldwide, protecting and stabilizing shorelines, creating homes for fish and aiding carbon sequestration.

Rossi centers her study on three factors: insect grazing, disease and high salinity — their impacts both individually and in cooperation with each other. For instance, she used DNA sequencing and morphology to identify a pathogen of interest and combined it with her earlier research on grazing by the robust bush cricket. Results suggested a possible link, leading to further investigation.

Her goal: find the causes of mangrove die-off and figure out how to prevent it.

“This is increasingly important as climate change progresses.”