Dawn A T Phillip

Dawn A T Phillip
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine | UWI · Department of Life Sciences

PhD Ecology, University of St Andrews, Scotland

About

29
Publications
27,570
Reads
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518
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2011 - present
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
Position
  • Genetic resilience of reef-building corals in Tobago, W.I.
Description
  • Project is being done in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Affairs
November 2010 - present
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
Position
  • Biological diversity in an inconstant world: temporal turnover in modified ecosystems
Description
  • We aim to evaluate the resistance and resilience of ecological communities to change
December 2007 - present
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
Position
  • Effect of oil contamination on guppy evolution
Description
  • We are examining the effects of long-term exposure of guppy populations to natural oil seeps and anthropogenic oil spills in the wild.
Education
September 1995 - September 1998
University of St Andrews
Field of study
  • Ecology (PhD)

Publications

Publications (29)
Article
Full-text available
Deploying mosquito predators such as the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) into bodies of water where mosquitoes breed is a common strategy for limiting the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes. Here, we draw on studies from epidemiology, conservation, ecology and evolution to show that the evidence for the effectiveness of guppies in controlling mosqui...
Article
Contemporary anthropogenic impacts, such as climate warming, habitat fragmentation, and pollution can pose severe challenges for natural populations (Vitousek et al. 1997; Palumbi 2001; Stockwell et al. 2003). One challenge is that environmental change renders populations poorly adapted for the new environment, which can cause population declines a...
Article
Mangrove habitats are typically the focus of conservation efforts in tropical estuaries because their structural complexity is thought to support greater biodiversity and nursery function than unvegetated habitats. However, evidence for this paradigm has been equivocal in turbid tropical estuaries where unvegetated mudflats are also highly producti...
Article
Extinction rates are predicted to accelerate during the Anthropocene. Quantifying and mitigating these extinctions demands robust data on distributions of species and the diversity of taxa in regional biotas. However, many assemblages, particularly those in the tropics, are poorly characterized. Targeted surveys and historical museum collections ar...
Poster
Trinidad’s northeastern coastline is fringed by a collection of robust coral communities that form a complex habitat. These communities in Toco are among the few coral formations in Trinidad (Ramsaroop, 1976; Kenny, 1978), and are the closest Caribbean coral habitat to South America. However, they are under threat from anthropogenic and hydrologica...
Article
The Earth's ecosystems are under unprecedented pressure, yet the nature of contemporary biodiversity change is not well understood. Growing evidence that community size is regulated highlights the need for improved understanding of community dynamics. As stability in community size could be underpinned by marked temporal turnover, a key question is...
Article
Full-text available
Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are frequently introduced to both natural and artificial water bodies as a mosquito control. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that guppies can consume large numbers of larval mosquitoes. Our study investigates how intraspecific variability in guppy phenotype affects their importance as a mosquito biocontrol and how...
Article
Full-text available
The ability of populations to rapidly adapt to new environments will determine their future in an increasingly human-modified world. Although meta-analyses do frequently uncover signatures of local adaptation, they also reveal many exceptions. We suggest that particular constraints on local adaptation might arise when organisms are exposed to novel...
Article
Full-text available
The presence of the genus Gephyrocharax and the first record of its species G. valencia are confirmed from the island of Trinidad, based on a comparison with all species of the genus. Gephyrocharax valencia is the first species of the genus recorded for an island
Article
Full-text available
Based on historical and museum records and recent extensive collecting we compiled a checklist of 77 fish species reported from the streams of Trinidad and Tobago. A key with photographs is provided to aid in identifications, as well as brief notes on habitat, diet, reproduction, maximum size, local common names and distribution.
Article
Full-text available
Based on historical and museum records and recent extensive collecting we compiled a checklist of 77 fish species report-ed from the streams of Trinidad and Tobago. A key with photographs is provided to aid in identifications, as well as brief notes on habitat, diet, reproduction, maximum size, local common names and distribution. Key words: biod...
Article
Full-text available
Zoathids are integral components of coral reef benthic communities in the southern Caribbean. Although reef-building scleractinian corals are important in providing the foundational structure of coral reefs, the dynamic nature of current trends in climate change will definitely affect cnidarian distribution and may promote competitive hardier speci...
Article
Full-text available
Reef monitoring programs can utilise simple effective techniques to collect abundance and distribution data, which can be used to monitor long-term effects of human–environment interactions on reef benthos. Line and point intercepts and quadrat methods were used to collect data at two sites located on the northeastern coast of Trinidad, West Indies...
Article
Aim  To test the hypothesis that communities with higher diversity have more predictable properties by examining patterns of community structure along a species richness gradient.Location  Trinidad and Tobago (11°00 N, 61°00 W), on the South American continental shelf, opposite the Orinoco River delta, north-east Venezuela.Methods  We used quantile...
Article
Full-text available
A study was conducted to determine the possible influence of recreation on microbiological water quality of a tropical stream. Microbiological water quality was measured at several recreational sites along the stream and a separate experiment was conducted to look at the effect of sediment resuspension on microbiological water quality. Microbiologi...
Article
Full-text available
This study was conducted to guide the prioritisation of efforts to manage Cryptosporidum contamination of drinking water supplies in Trinidad, W.I. The main objective was to investigate the relative importance of three main types of sources of Cryptosporidium oocysts: urban, agriculture and wildlife. Weekly surface water samples were collected from...
Article
Previous investigations of the guppy, Poecilia reticulata, in Trinidad have demonstrated rapid population differentiation at small geographic scales. However, most studies to date have focused on localities in Trinidad's Northern Range where barrier water falls mark sharp discontinuities in the selection regime and limit scope for gene flow. There...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological assessment entails the application of ecological knowledge to environmental problem-solving. Resting on a systems approach, it considers problems from a multi-disciplinary perspective including environmental conditions and ecological systems, and by including humans as an integral part of ecosystems, logically includes socioeconomic syst...
Article
Freshwater systems are vulnerable to pollution and species loss often ensues. Are there additional implications for assemblage structure? Here we use Berger-Parker d. Simpson's I/D and Simpson's F to measure the ecological diversity of pristine and perturbed freshwater fish assemblages in Trinidad. West Indies, and Oklahoma. USA. Although the impac...
Article
Full-text available
The yellowedge grouper (Epineph-elus fl avolimbatus) and the yel-lowmouth grouper (Mycteroperca interstitialis) are two large serra-nids commonly caught in the trap fi shery off Trinidad and Tobago. The yellowedge grouper has been recorded from North and South Car-olina (Huntsman, 1976), the Gulf of Mexico, the West Indies, and the north coast of S...
Article
Full-text available
Synopsis Reproduction and growth of the vermilion snapper, Rhomboplites aurorubens, were studied in Trinidad and Tobago. The smallest individual caught measured 145 mm total length (TL) and all fish appeared to be mature. It was not possible to precisely determine size at first maturity due to the use of macroscopic techniques. The smallest spent m...
Thesis
Full-text available
The proximity of the speciose South American continent to Trinidad and Tobago ensures that these islands have a rich and dynamic fauna. According to the equilibrium theory of island biogeography (MacArthur & Wilson 1967), these islands should be subjected to frequent immigrations from the nearby continent, and these additions will, in response, fue...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Size at maturity, time of spawning, growth and mortality parameters were estimated for the Carib-bean red snapper (Lutjanus purpureus) in Trinidad and Tobago. Size at maturity was 27 cm TL for males and 39 cm for females. Spawning occurred year-round with peak activity from September to February. The length-weight relationship was W. = 0.0141' TL'2...
Article
Full-text available
Reproduction and feeding were studied in mountain mullet,Agonostomus monticola, in northeast Trinidad during the period January 1987 to September 1988. Macroscopic and microscopic examination of the gonads indicated a single, distinct reproductive season from June to October during the wet season. Evidence implies only one spawning event per indivi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The fishery for snappers and groupers has traditionally been conducted at an artisanal level in the nearshore waters of Trinidad and Tobago. Antillean fishtraps and handlines are the main gears used, with vermilion snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens), Caribbean red snapper (Lutjanus purpureus), dogtooth snapper (L. jocu), land snapper (L. synagris),...
Article
Supervisors : Prof. J.S. Kenny, Mary Alkins-Koo. Thesis (M. Phil.)--The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, 1991. Bibliography : leaves 103-111.

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
My understanding of statistics is very weak, so I apologise if this is not clear, or the question is unwarranted
Undergraduate students set out to find out whether substrate type (four types on a coral reef) affected algal community structure. They used a stratified random sampling design, with five replicates in each stratum, with each replicate represented by a quadrat that was randomly thrown.
Using a 1m by 1m quadrat subdivided into 100 squares they estimated percentage cover of different species of algae (i.e., percentage of each quadrat occupied by each species). Their resolution was 0.25% (quarter of a square).
They wanted to do an ANOVA, so they needed continuous data. Instead of using the data as percentages, they instead used actual area covered (each square is 10 cm by 10 cm, or 100 cm2).
A colleague disagreed with this strategy on the following counts:
  1. they felt the percentage data should have been Arc Sine transformed instead, and converting to area did not represent a valid transformation for this purpose. Applying an arithmetic conversion was not a satisfactory option
  2. the percentages, and hence areas, were an estimate and not an absolute measure. They mentioned that that means they are likely to vary from one person to the next (no questions were raised about whether or not the estimates were done by one or more students)
  3. the resolution of measure was quarter of a square, or 25 cm2, so they felt this was not really continuous data
Are these valid concerns, and if so, which and why? In addressing 2 and 3, please add comments on how using ArcSine would have been better than using area (I felt that the transformation may carry forward the concerns – estimated data and what I think they meant as inadequate resolution.
Question
A colleague and I just started working on Sicydium punctatum, and noticed several colour variations in what we think is this species.

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Projects

Projects (10)
Project
To use spatial distribution of fish communities and stable isotope analysis to explore linkages between adjacent fish nursery habitats in a mangrove lined estuary
Archived project
To carry out a taxonomic and phylogenetic study of the species of the genus based on (but not exclusively) morphological characters.