Rebecca Waggett, Ph.D.
Dr. Waggett is an Associate Professor and Biology Department Chair at The University of Tampa. She is a marine scientist specializing in plankton ecology. Her research ranges in scale from organismal to ecosystem level questions. On the organismal level, she examines biomechanics of feeding and escape strategies while ecosystem-based research investigates the trophic role of certain zooplankters in coastal food webs. Specific research areas include: the sensory ecology of zooplankton, predator-prey interactions involving planktonic organisms, and the biomechanics of feeding and escape.
Dr. Waggett earned a B.S. in Biology from Providence College prior to attending The University of Texas at Austin. She was stationed at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) in Port Aransas, TX where she studied the biomechanics, physiology and sensory ecology of copepod escape behavior in Dr. Edward Buskey's plankton ecology lab. She graduated with a doctorate in Marine Sciences in 2005. Following graduation, Dr. Waggett worked at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Dr. Dian Gifford, Dr. Jack Costello and Dr. Sean Colin investigating gelatinous zooplankton population, specifically hydromedusae, in Narragansett Bay.
In 2006, Dr. Waggett was awarded a Research Associateship through the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council (NRC). Through this Research Associateship, Dr. Waggett was able to work at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Beaufort, NC investigating the role of zooplankton grazers on the development, control and maintenance of harmful algal blooms.
Dr. Waggett joined the faculty in the Biology Department at The University of Tampa in 2010 and teaches courses in Marine Science, Biological Oceanography, Biology, and Environmental Science.